Sunday, November 17, 2013

One pissed off white suburban mom

You know what? I really want to thank U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, for pointing out that the only reason I am against Common Core is because I am a white suburban mom who has  realized my kids aren't geniuses. WHEW! Thanks for that Mr. Duncan. Here I was thinking that Common Core was a reboot of No Child Left Behind, another one size fits all set of educational standards that failed spectacularly. But clearly, as you so succinctly pointed out- it is ME who is missing the point- what with all my "helicopter mom" antics and happy ignorance of my children's poor education.  I am thrilled that you find it "“fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”  (P.S. what kind of sentence is this? Seriously- YOU are in charge of education?)

(If you haven't read the article- please read it here- I am not exaggerating or joking)

I was apparently completely wrong in thinking that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developmentally inappropriate,  micro-managing attempt to guarantee that teachers will teach to the test and attempt to turn otherwise bright, imaginative students into fact regurgitating drones that are unhappy, frustrated and worst of all- NOT LEARNING. I guess I was wrong about the fact that CCSS is a program that is paid for by billionaires, and "researched" by people who have zero educational background.  And I must have misunderstood that  states have been threatened  to implement this very flawed set of standards or lose federal funds.
And when you said "The Common Core has become a rallying cry for fringe groups that claim it is a scheme for the federal government to usurp state and local control of what students learn. An op-ed in the New York Times called the Common Core “a radical curriculum.” It is neither radical nor a curriculum. … When the critics can’t persuade you that the Common Core is a curriculum, they make even more outlandish claims. They say that the Common Core calls for federal collection of student data. For the record, it doesn’t, we’re not allowed to, and we won’t. And let’s not even get into the really wacky stuff: mind control, robots, and biometric brain mapping"  were you referring to the DOE, February 2013 report that has pictures of the exact biometric devices you are claiming you can't use? I don't know about mind control- but YOUR department put this study out. (See page 44, article 11)  I am really confused now.  This coming from the same man who said that the best thing to happen to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. WHAT THE HELL??

And I must be completely delusional to think that white suburban mom's are the only concerned parents. Apparently no other race or ethnicity or socio-economic group  is worried and angry about CCSS. And dad's well- what do they even care?  Let's not even consider special needs students who will be expected to perform right alongside their peers, regardless of ability. I mean- your goal is "preparing for a global economy" - and apparently these children, the ones with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc. etc. etc. do not fit yours and your billionaire backers molds.

My kids may not be geniuses, but they are smart. They are capable of learning- yes, even my son with Autism. I have watched my daughter work her ass off to maintain an A average. She wasn't coddled, she wasn't told she was great no matter what she did. She was, and is held to a higher standard, and her hard work and perseverance and continually good  great report cards are evidence of that. I have watched my son work hard to understand concepts, and have modified curriculum for him, to help his differently functioning brain understand concepts. I do not feel like I was "punched in the gut" by the horribly low standards my kids were being held to. Because they weren't.   But maybe that is just my "delusional" belief.

Mr. Duncan- your rude, racist, sexist remarks are disgusting and have pissed off many, many people. Not just we white suburban moms. . And YOU are in charge of our children's education? It terrifies me to think where my very intelligent children will be when they graduate if this ridiculous set of standards continues to permeate and destroy our schools. Good teachers are leaving their jobs because
they refuse to do this to their students. But that's OK, right? Just open up another charter school, and staff it with Teach for America "teachers" who achieved highly qualified status in a few weeks.   Common Core is not research based, punishes those in poverty or with special needs and creates a hostile environment between teachers and parents- who are supposed to be partners in education.  I don't disagree that standards are important- but educational leaders, seasoned teachers and the STATES need to be driving these reforms. Not Bill and Melinda Gates.

Congratulations on angering a shitload of white suburban moms who in their delusional state of mind will be more than willing to discuss what you have said with everyone they know, on social media sites, and wow- the mommy bloggers (ugh I hate that term- but it fits) will have a field day.