I find the image above to be incredibly hilarious as well as disheartening. Anyone entering into a Common Core Standards debate, NOW, is really debating on standards (Otherwise where were you before? We had standards BEFORE you know.)
I was so happy to see pissed off parents and teachers in the news recently. Not because I’m sadistic. Not because I like dissent. But because others were articulating what we’d been saying a long time ago. (See my post, 3 Wonderings You Have About the Shommon Shore err Common Core).
There’s something quite refreshing about one’s seemingly unpopular thoughts being eventually so publicly and forcefully validated!
I maintain that education is such a hush-hush industry where most directives are given top-down by out-of-touch officials, and everyone feels they just better do what the boss says or their ass is on the line.
Truth be told most people are content with doing the okie-coke (meant to say okie-dokie but I like the typo) as long as it’s attached to a paycheck.
I happen to be one of the few that would rather shove a paycheck in my boss’s mouth rather than suffer a loss of my integrity, values, or self-respect. And I would gladly, faithfully, and cheerfully work for a boss who values the self-same.
Yes some of us do pay a price for exercising free speech in spite of opposition, but if we didn’t…who would be telling you the truth?
Throughout history revolutionary thinkers were cast aside and ostracized for their ideas–only to be lauded later on in life–or on their tombstone.
But I digress…while all of this hype about the Common Core does point to certain truths, it’s still a smoke and mirrors game cloaking the fact that American kids are getting dumber every year. And it’s not because of the standards. For all of the Common Core’s fanfare, it’s really a document that re-presents pre-existing standards. Themes are still themes (ELA). 2 + 2 is still 4 (Math). We still hypothesize in Science…etc. etc.
Is it the tools we use to measure learning, the standards we choose to teach, OR is there a cultural shift at play here?
I truly believe that if we could answer this question: “What do today’s youth want out of life (since education is a means to that end)?” we’d really know what to do. What is the purpose of it all…to them…the students?
HAS ANYBODY ASKED THE CHILDREN WHY THEY AREN’T LEARNING?
Well, of course you asked. But then did you really collect this data and make big decisions based on it?
When’s the last time you sat down to have a meaningful conversation with a teen? Were you frightened by the white noise between their ears…the shocking lack of depth to their statements? Or were you in awe because of his or her intellectual response? Your under- or over- whelm still points to the listlessness this generation.
Sure “college and career readiness” sounds so delicious on paper, but a teacher can teach till they are blue in the face…but if students are apathetic towards their own education, it doesn’t matter what’s written on the board.
My thought is that the key to changing America’s problem–other countries seem to have their educational system pumping–is discovering and answering this American generation’s question of why are we here and why does school matter?
Or are we comfortable letting pop stars fill in the blanks like Rihanna asking “What is Now” and Lady Gaga molding her “Little Monsters”?