(This post got a bit away from me, I apologize for the rambling nature and probable spelling errors…in my defense I’m ranting and I don’t care if my grammar is perfect in a rant)
I don’t know what we did before we had Common Core to blame all our education woes on, I really don’t.
I don’t remember my parents saying “look at this Prentice Hall math problem my kid had to solve” or “look at this Houghton Mifflin Harcourt history worksheet my kid brought home” and trust me the problems were just as prevalent then as they are now that everyone has tourettes that automatically attaches “common core” as the adjective in every complaint about education, curriculum, or teaching styles.
It isn’t just the curriculum I hear complaints about either (and apparently most of the curriculum passing itself off as ‘common core aligned’ are taking you for a ride, many of those textbooks were never change at all) sometimes it’s just “my kid couldn’t get his homework right, DAMN THAT COMMON CORE!”
Look, I know your kid is a special little snowflake who can do no wrong…but maybe this is just a case of them needing extra tutoring or a second explanation of the process by their teacher. Or maybe you think a way of solving a problem is too difficult or silly, but it is teaching a basic building block that will later help your child learn more difficult formulas. Or maybe it is that the curriculum is bad or the teacher is stupid, both of those things happen. Here’s the problem though. Do you really think that if we just got rid of Common Core that those problems would vanish in a puff of smoke?
Unfortunately people have become so hysterical that the anti-Common Core side has taken on a tinge of the “mob” quality. I can’t state my opinion or question an anti-CC article without being called a “marxist” or a “commie supporter of Commie Core”* or an “Obama supporter” or just having people flat out say “you’re an idiot/you’re ignorant” without bothering to offer a single salient or relevant argument…at least not one that hasn’t been debunked a thousand and two times already.
But they don’t listen to facts, if Michelle Malkin (or Mark Levin or any of the dozen or so conservative pundits who hates Common Core) didn’t say it then you might as well be Wagner playing for a group of deaf people.
Ann Coulter recently covered the fact that there is a certain “mob” quality infiltrating the ranks of Republicans and when she wrote the article she included a list of ways to recognize this behavior. Let’s go over this shall we?
— Slogans as arguments – Commie Core is a favorite, also “Common Whore” and other less than witty variations on rhyming.
— Imperviousness to facts – No matter how many times I explain the difference between Race to the Top and Common Core, the fact that Common Core doesn’t write or control curriculum, or that Common Core is voluntary and the standards don’t have anything to do with data collection, it doesn’t matter…they are complete coated in a fact and logic proofed raincoat. Facts just slide right off.
— Acceptance of contradictions – Either the standards are to high or the standards are too low (*cough*Heritage Foundation*Cough*), there isn’t enough control over curriculum or they are writing the curriculum, it’s a corporate takeover of education or the government is taking over standards…these are usually beliefs held by the same person or organization within days (sometimes hours) of each other.
— Extreme emotional attachment to their leaders combined with a passionate hatred of putative enemies – This comes up quite often, usually with Palin, Malkin, Levin, etc. There is a lot of emotional attachment going around about how Common Core is responsible for their kids not achieving as much this year as last and how Common Core is evil because the standards made their kid cry. If you refuse to be swayed by their emotional pleading, things get nasty and curse words start flying.
Are there problems? Well there are always problems of some sort in education, so yes. Implementation has been lax, curriculum hasn’t been appropriately updated to meet the standards in many cases, and some of the curriculum may just suck.
Then again, I’ve found at least 5 examples (today alone) of curriculum that is considered “bad” (and subsequently blamed on Common Core, of course) that isn’t actually as bad as people made it out to be.
For example, this was on The Blaze this morning:
Now this was actually pretty funny…or it would have been if it hadn’t been for the fact that it was on The Blaze and titled “You’ll Want to Read the Hilarious Response One Second-Grader Reportedly Wrote On His Common Core Math Assignment”. See what I mean? Common Core Tourettes. Why is it important that it’s Common Core? Well it wouldn’t be Blaze news worthy if it wasn’t useful to demonize a perfectly reasonable set of standards.
The picture includes a set of Common Core standard numbers and so I looked it up to see what the standards were that this question was designed to meet.
Not only was this question actually not that hard (similar to the one where a simple number line somehow frustrated an engineer father) or teaching “fuzzy” math, but the standards it is meeting are complete rational and common sense.
And yet, a sampling of the comments for your enjoyment:
These people are an absolute font of ridiculous conspiracy theories (and ridiculous insults to anyone who doesn’t agree with them) and they also don’t seem to get how learning how to solve a problem in multiple ways will help retain the knowledge and that interdisciplinary (mixing writing, math, science, and history) learning can be beneficial to education.
Basically they are talking out of their asses and sound like they could have used a healthy dose of critical thinking skills, which Common Core is founded in, when they were in school.
These people make sea cucumbers look smart and somehow I’m supposed to listen to them when it comes to making rational decisions about what standards are good for education?
And yes, I know, that offensive and not likely to win any of these people over to my side…but do you really think ANYTHING was going to do that?
I weep that these people are part of the right wing that I have to work with to get things done in election years.
*Oh yes, very witty, hur dur.