Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Think This Will Be My Last Common Core Post

Michael Larson reports that there was a bit of sturm und drang at a Common Core meeting tonight.

My previous Common Core posts can be summed up with the following sentences:
  1. Folks who worry about the Common Core being a U.N. conspiracy are wrong. 
  2. The standards are neither markedly better nor worse than the ones South Dakota used prior to the Core's adoption. 
  3. The amount of time students spend testing will increase.
  4. Because administrators will hold English departments responsible for all of the reading standards, the teaching of fiction will be dramatically reduced to students' detriment.
  5. Some short sighted administrators will use the Core as an excuse to eliminate speech and debate, once again to the students' detriment.
The Core is backed by corporate entities including testing companies, textbook publishers, and tech gurus. All are producing product designed to "help" teachers and schools implement the Core. Seven or eight years from now, it's going to be hard for these businesses to sell "New and Improved Common Core" materials.Customers will rightly ask why the previous products needed to be improved.

Because public education is an untapped cash cow, these companies will do what good business people do; they will create new demand. The easiest way to create that demand will be to have a new set of standards. In about three years, there will be another education crisis. Some business leaders will write pompous editorials that will be deemed "important" or "serious" or some new buzzword indicating that the author is indeed an expert, even if that person hasn't been inside an elementary or secondary school for thirty years. Some quasi-official groups will bring some testing experts and tech folks together, and a set of new standards will emerge. The federal government will be lobbied, and states will be blackmailed to adopt the "reforms." It's a proven method that worked for NCLB and Common Core. 

Maybe students will "Flesh Out the Core" or "Layer the Learning Onion" or "Engage The Newest New Tomorrow." It doesn't matter. Corporate backed reform will last as long as there's a profit to be made.


M Larson said...

I thought you should know that Shane Vader Hart agrees with you. He also pointed to the issue of pushing so much Informational Text and that it is drowning out fictional literature in English classrooms and not being expanded to other classes.

caheidelberger said...

Hey, Michael! I've only read a smattering of Vander Hart's work. Do you have any sense of whether he's really a defender of quality literature/fiction in the curriculum, or if that's just a convenient argument to add to the pile as he focuses on a different agenda?

Anonymous said...

Who runs the UN? The Council On Foreign Relations, otherwise known as Global Corporations, Who has a contract with Gates? UNESCO, Who promotes the UN application UNESCO? The US Dept of Ed. Who has 100 UNESCO promoters as paid members? The US State Department Who's is the inventor of the World Core Curriculum? Uh...Robert Muller...What is the UN goal 2015? That's right a global curriculum for all. But if you believe.....then you too can live in your own mind. Just don't come crying when your kid is in the global governance class learning how to depopulate the mother guia.

Shane Vander Hart said...

I am really a defender of quality literature/fiction in the classroom. Hopefully you get to read more than just a smattering of my work :).

Kal Lis said...

Mr. Vander Hart,

Thanks for stopping by. I have read a few posts on your blog. I will search it out to read some of your work on literature/fiction.

Anon. 11:38,

Let's keep a few facts straight. The person most responsible for the Core is David Coleman, a person who finds fiction "bulls_ _ _" The standards are not a curriculum. It's Mother Gaia, and she's fully able to depopulate herself on her own.


Good reporting last night.


Hope you're enjoying the West. You're making me feel guilty about not keep up on the blogging

M Larson said...

Thanks Leo,

Cory, I think Mr. Vander Hart is sincere about the potential loss of fictional literature.

Sidenote: Arne Duncan was on Colbert last night and Colbert asked him if the common core included teaching children how to read a memo, Duncan couldn't deny it.