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Monday, March 24, 2014

Trompe-l'oeil: You can't fool all the people all of the time...


If one were to believe that the Common Core State Standards and the Pennsylvania Core Standards were the next best thing since sliced bread, then why in the world wouldn't our nation's private schools want to adopt them?


The Lakeside School where the Gates children attend. No Common Core for his kids.


If they are so "rigorous" and get kids so "college and career ready" and push kids to have more "grit," one would think the school where Bill Gates sends his kids would adopt them, but amazingly, nope. No Common Core State Standards (Or trompe l'oeil CCSS, like Pennsylvania's. A rose by any other name...). In fact, no private school is adopting them. Catholic scholars blasted the Common Core and don't want Catholic schools adopting them either. You know, it is only for those public school kids and their highly qualified teachers who have degrees in education.


The CCSS are the key to creativity for your schools, not ours.


If the CCSS are so great, why would Bill Gates have to be on the defensive, holding press conferences about how "....the Common Core standards (are) the key to creativity in the classroom."
I consider myself a pretty creative and innovative teacher. I have read the CCSS, and they are no key to creativity.


We know what is best for your children. Trust us.



All of this said, if Gates wants to save face, which would save face for a hell of a lot of politicians out there as well, he should stop pushing the high stakes component and divorce the CCSS from the testing.




Gates has had one well-intended idea after another in education. To him they are well-meaning experiments with the lives of the wee people whom he does not come in contact with often. He has a history of starting projects (small schools, Microsoft Schools, and others) and abandoning them. He has recently claimed that, "“It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” What the heck? This "stuff" is impacting the lives of my children as I type this. It is impacting the lives of all of our children.





So here you go, everybody, here is the answer to this bipartisan, Gates infused reform that is ruining public education. Let local school districts adjust the CCSS and the trompe l'oeil versions (we know our students and communities best), stop the high stakes testing, and get our kid's test scores out of teacher evaluations.





The way to solve this problem is to get the business people out of public education. They don't know what they are doing, put data at the center of the discussion instead of our kids, and throw a lot of jargon at us, assuming we are too dumb to question it. We aren't.




Enough is enough. You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.


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