Thursday, April 24, 2014

Teachable moments

There's a good article here here about liberal opposition to common core, worthwhile not least because of its own links.  Common core is currently best known as a bete noire of the right, including politicians like Bobby Jindal who were all for it until five minutes ago.  Arne Duncan, CC proponent and the current Education Secretary, is certainly a deserving target, put there by Obama.  Hillary Clinton, from everything we know about the Clintons' associations, would almost certainly have appointed Duncan or someone indistinguishable as well.  And a Republican presidnet might have given us a Secretary Michelle Rhee, a hair-raising prospect.  So it's not really a partisan issue, and a non-depressing political outcome is unlikely in the short term.  There needs to be grassroots resistance, which luckily has started to arrive.

My own opposition is rooted in the time I spent taking the preliminary classes for teacher education back in the nineties.  While I didn't go on to the profession myself, I got to know a lot of other people who were preparing to become teachers.  They were a varied group, some very inspiring, some very much not.  But the best, it seemed to me, were the ones who best knew their own rhythms, and thus would be most resistant to rules set down by a far-away technocrat.  I have friends who do teach now, and I think time has borne me out.


susan said...

As if No Child Left Behind hadn't caused enough problems now they've added another layer of complication. I'm with you.

susan said...

Another thing I neglected to mention is the use of tablet devices in schools rather than notebooks and pens etc. I've just found out a number of schools in this country are using them for class work even in the early grades. Jer quipped, 'Maybe they can do away with teachers altogether and just leave security guards in charge'.

Ben said...

"No Child Left Behind" they called it. Left unspecified was where all these children were going. Sounds familiar.

Jerry's all security guard, all the time idea is so crazy, it sounds like something they'd think would work.