From the Washington Post:
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found 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.”
You can read the rest at the link but I find this infuriating. This is how “things get done” now. Instead of addressing parents’ concerns and debating the actual issues our government officials demonize anyone who disagrees with them. Parents aren’t upset with Common Core because they are suddenly finding their children are not brilliant. This isn’t about how tough the standards are. This is about the fact that the standards are teaching the wrong things and the wrong way. A century ago our country had a literacy proficiency above 90%. Today it is 13%. Common Sense was written to be read by the average teenager in 1776. Most adults today are unable to understand it. The Common Core standards don’t do anything to address this. In fact, they take us farther away from the foundational educational principals that made those levels of literacy and reasoning possible. The education of our grandparents and great grandparents was far superior to what we have now but, instead of trying to return to what worked, we keep moving further down the path that has taken us astray. That is what parents are upset about, not test scores. Most parents don’t want the measuring stick that grades the success of education to be reduced down to a standardized test anyway! What do those tests prove? They amount to nothing more than regurgitating a list of facts. Facts that, sadly, most students today don’t know how to process! We are teaching the wrong way and we are judging the success of the system based on the wrong metrics! Until we realize this it is impossible for things to get better. That is what those “white suburban moms” are trying to get Arne Duncan, and others like him, to understand.