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Can the Left and Right Find Common Ground on Common Core and High-Stakes Testing?

Yes, but ask a few important questions before you decide which team you're on.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

April 15, 2013 - 2:30 pm

But parents and educators (education activists in particular) diverge when it comes to whose interests are at stake. While parents are concerned first and foremost about their children, teachers also have an interest — for better or worse — in preserving their careers and the monopoly of the public schools.

Slekar, the former teacher from Pennsylvania, explained,

Look, learning to write for a low-paid temp worker so that you get the right score so that a teacher and school won’t get punished is not the learning I want for my child or any child in any public school. This is not the promise of public education and this is not accountability. This is fear, intimidation, and blame, and I will not let my children take part in it anymore. No more false labels of “failing,” “below basic,” “needs improvement.” This is the language imposed on us by standardized tests and pushed by the reform movement. It is meant to destroy powerful public schooling and relegate most children to menial jobs in a dead-end economy that only creates wealth for the powerful. No more. [emphasis added]

Note the concern that the school will be “punished” and that the testing will “destroy powerful public schooling.” Preserving the “powerful” system seems to be an equivalent goal to desiring a good education for his son.

While most parents are primarily concerned about their individual children and making sure they get a good education, those in the “Opt-Out” movement see high-stakes testing and the Common Core as part of a diabolical plan aimed at destroying public education, their profession, and even “democracy” itself. [Obligatory reminder that our form of government is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.]

This is a conspiracy of Bilderberg or Trilateral Commission proportions — and, by the way, the billionaire corporate enemies are all connected.

Former assistant secretary of education and early endorser of No Child Left Behind Diane Ravitch told NPR that,

I came to the conclusion … that No Child Left Behind has turned into a timetable for the destruction of American public education. I had never imagined that the test would someday be turned into a blunt instrument to close schools — or to say whether teachers are good teachers or not.

Peggy Robertson, a United Opt Out activist, speaking at the Occupy the DOE rally, insisted that teachers need no outside accountability and can be trusted to determine if their students are progressing:

We do not need these tests. Teachers already know how to assess their learners. We are professionals. We are reflective practitioners. Mainstream media, end the mass amnesia. Tell the people that teachers already know how to assess their learners.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The Left has dominion over the education system. Common Core should be resisted and rejected with all your might.

Can Israeli Jews find common ground with those who wish to annihilate them? Only a fool would take that path.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
King David has been anointed but King Saul is still running around thinking it's all about him.

We must always keep the big picture in view. There is no need for a DOE. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved in education. Education is a local government concern. It SHOULD be handled at the city/county level. Any level above that (I'm talking to you State run education) is a guaranteed fail. Private/Home school education produces wonderful results while government run education produces abysmal results. I say this as a retired public school teacher wounded from banging my head against the wall so often during my 29 year career.

Private companies can produce standardized curriculum, goals, standards and benchmarks. Schools can voluntarily choose which one, if any, they want to use for their advertising. Testing is then professionally done (audit style) by a third party to ensure a fraud-free result.

There is a plethora of incredible, amazing material out there now. The Internet has decentralized education forever. The government zombie wealth-eaters have not realized it yet. All we need nowadays is a "little red schoolhouse" with a great Internet connection, some sharp TAs, and a few students. The current education system is King Saul, and King Saul is a dead man walking.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, we cannot find common ground, because Common Core is about greater Federal control of our education system. That means more power to offer re-education, rather than education. It's all in the guise of doing good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I am a solid conservative, but I strongly agree with the lefties regarding the dangers of "corporate influences" on public education. Capitalism is awesome, but crony capitalism and rent-seeking are perversions of the free market. What Pearson and other likeminded companies are doing is trying to profit by providing materials designed to meet the very requirements they helped write in the first place. By having a "common core," Pearson, et. al. save money by not having to tailor their materials for different states.

Just because a corporation is being attacked doesn't mean we conservatives should automatically rush to its defense. When corporations stand against our principles, they should be opposed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Common Core is turning out NOT to be what the governors association conference promoted. Today, common core is left to the states to formulate just like NCLB and RtT. In reality, there will be limited chances that the standards create a foundation to work collaboratively across states or even among all districts within a state.

For those with years of educator experience, you will find this to be the same prerpetual experimental standards and modalities that changes like previous systems but with a great deal higher and broader frequency YTY. This is nothing more than NCLB 3.0 (RtT and CCSS) and the same as the past 47 years.

Maybe people will wake up and start campaigning their school districts to become 'independent' school districts. Of course you better have the means to financially support a first class independent education district.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Left has dominion over the education system. Common Core should be resisted and rejected with all your might.

Can Israeli Jews find common ground with those who wish to annihilate them? Only a fool would take that path.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
King David has been anointed but King Saul is still running around thinking it's all about him.

We must always keep the big picture in view. There is no need for a DOE. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved in education. Education is a local government concern. It SHOULD be handled at the city/county level. Any level above that (I'm talking to you State run education) is a guaranteed fail. Private/Home school education produces wonderful results while government run education produces abysmal results. I say this as a retired public school teacher wounded from banging my head against the wall so often during my 29 year career.

Private companies can produce standardized curriculum, goals, standards and benchmarks. Schools can voluntarily choose which one, if any, they want to use for their advertising. Testing is then professionally done (audit style) by a third party to ensure a fraud-free result.

There is a plethora of incredible, amazing material out there now. The Internet has decentralized education forever. The government zombie wealth-eaters have not realized it yet. All we need nowadays is a "little red schoolhouse" with a great Internet connection, some sharp TAs, and a few students. The current education system is King Saul, and King Saul is a dead man walking.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
With 29 years in public education you should well know that theres always been an option called "independent school district" in which it can opt to be completely local and independent or state and federal blended. You should also have learned that NO state is mandated by law to receive federal education funding or most any other kinds federal subsidies. If your state would opt out of federal funding to include federal education funding, there would be no discussion to be had. When will people learn where to take their complaints about federal funding subsidies? As long as states stick their beggars hand out the feds will keep on filling it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, we cannot find common ground, because Common Core is about greater Federal control of our education system. That means more power to offer re-education, rather than education. It's all in the guise of doing good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Great advice Paula! It is important people understand there are different core motivations when deciding to get involved and more importantly, how to tell the difference. As to the two sides "finding common ground," I don't know if that can run deep enough to create lasting alliances. But perhaps, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend..."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Maxim 29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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