Monday, June 3, 2013

An Open Memo To Common Core Opponents

To: Common Core Opponents
From: The Displaced Plainsman
Subject: Anonymous Letters
Date: June 3, 2013

I too have serious misgivings about the Common Core and what its implementation might mean. Some of you are making it much harder for rest of us to be taken seriously.

Let me give you an example. Today, while I was sitting in a workshop that I'm taking so that I can keep my teacher certification, the professor told us that she and her husband, who is also an educator, had received a letter filled with cut and paste anti-Core rants. The letter also contained links to anti-Core sites.

As a teacher, I'm supposed to provide some positive feedback. In this case, those who sent this letter should be commended for not using letters physically cut from assorted newspapers and magazines. It's always good to avoid having one's anonymous letter resemble a kidnapper's ransom note.

Now for the negative but helpful criticism. I will to start gently as I can. HOW CAN YOU BE SO STUPID AND STILL BREATHE?

Tactics like this marginalize people who have practical reasons for opposing the Core. Any criticism is now waved off as the rantings of lunatics who fear black helicopters and believe the Core is going to usher in the mark of the Beast.

Perhaps you have been indoctrinated by Nike and its "Just Do It" campaign. Nike made a lot of money from that campaign, but sometimes it not enough to just do something. How one does something is frequently as important as what one does. In this case opposing the Core may well be the right thing to do. How you're doing it, however, is so wrong that it's actually hurting your cause.


Glen said...

So what are you doing to stop Common Core? Or are just going to insult the folks who are trying to do something but really do not know how to do it effectively?

So tell us how we can be more effective. Give us that "positive" feedback.

caheidelberger said...

Glen, I've tried to offer that positive feedback. I've told Common Core opponents to focus on arguments that will appeal to everyone. Drop the Glenn Beck looney stuff (really, for most voters, it's looney stuff). Focus on the time and money wasted on codifying what good teachers already know they need to do in the classroom. Make public school teachers your allies. Enlist them to tell honest stories about the hours they have to spend doing Common Core busywork instead of working directly with your children. Stay practical, stay local, stay real.

caheidelberger said...

...and listen to The Displaced Plainsman. He's giving you a clear example of how the tactics of opponents don't work. He knows whereof he speaks. He and I both work with students. It is not an insult to tell students that what they are doing doesn't work. It's our duty.

Kal Lis said...


There are 19 posts on this site tagged with the Common Core. Some are quotations by experts. Some are merely my musings. The most recent one is here.

I suppose a couple of the early ones might be positive I had hoped the Core would make NCLB less onerous. I now doubt that to be the

I have talked with my administrators and parents who have asked my opinions. I may not have done enough by your standards but what I have done is probably far more effective than an anonymous letter or trying to show that the Core is linked to a UN or the NWO.

Kal Lis said...

"to be the case."