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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kindergarten Common Core, Caste System, or Just Plain Crazy?

 In this NY Daily News article, kindergartners are being required to take Common Core aligned standardized tests for NY state. 

 "Goodbye Play-Doh, hello No. 2 pencils.
Because of a tough new curriculum and teacher evaluations, 4- and 5-year-olds are learning how to fill in bubbles on standardized math tests to show how much they know about numbers, shapes and order."

WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK THIS IS A REASONABLE IDEA?

“(The kindergarten kids are) scared. They just don’t understand you’re supposed to bubble in next to the answer.”



This is REALLY developmentally inappropriate. 

Why are they doing this? 
 
Corporate reformers want those who can afford it, to pull their kids out of public school and send them to private school. Who hasn't at least thought to pull their kids out of this nonsense? Sadly, some private schools are in need of money and are voluntarily selling their souls to the common core, too. The Gates Foundation offers grants to private schools if they align to the common core.

These reformers want families who can't afford private schools to pull their kids out of public schools, and put them in charters. Many families don't realize that charters are simply un-unionized, privately owned, test-prep focused schools running on public funds, often staffed by well-intended teachers competing for merit pay based on test scores or inexperienced volunteer teachers from Teach for America. Charters still over test kids and have to follow mandates and rules, such as the Common Core State Standards. I have noticed that some charter schools call themselves pubic charters, but they are really public/private partnerships, which makes for quite a lack of transparency for our public tax dollars.

What do they ultimately want? Vouchers to send public tax dollars to private and Parochial schools, and sending even more tax dollars to support privately owned charter schools, which will financially starve public schools and collapse the public school system. The kids left behind in public schools will be the ones not accepted into charters. That would mean many special education students, special needs students, students who are English language learners, students with behavioral issues (like ADD or ADHD)...the kids who don't necessarily test well. You get the picture.

Seems like a caste system:

The Common Core State Standards are marketed to the public as getting students "College and Career Ready."

Private schools are not mandated to follow the narrow, prescribed curriculum that most states now require of their public schools. The corporate reformers send their own kids to the most elite private schools. They want top tier private school students to get a richer, deeper, more creative and critical thinking filled education. Under their philosophy, if you can't afford that level of private school, your children won't get that.

...It looks like reformers plan for lots of private school students to be "College Ready."

Public and charter schools have to do as they are told. The Common Core State Standards and year after year of standardized tests for folks who aren't paying more than their tax dollars. Test-prep, remedial classes, and a slow and painful death of self-esteem for these kids.

...It looks like reformers are aiming for lots of public and charter school students to go straight to minimum wage "careers."

Reformers call this "CHOICE." Beware when you hear it. It means they are coming for you.

In most states, the issue of public education is considered in the constitution of the state.
The Pennsylvania State Constitution addresses public education in Article III, Section 14 which states:
Section 14. Public School System
The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.

Why are we letting them get away with this?


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