Michael White: It’s the parents who need to fight Common Core

By | December 6, 2013

An article written for the Riverhead News-Review by Michael White pounds away at the Common Core State [sic] Standards.  This is only an excerpt.  Please follow the link at the bottom to the entire article.

Our local teachers and administrators are sounding an alarm.

They’re the “canaries in the coal mine,” says Terry Kalb, a recently retired Eastern Suffolk BOCES special education teacher. And they’re sensing something toxic.

While nonprofits such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and political lobbyists like Students First flood statehouses with cash and bombard the Internet with buzz-word-laden propaganda in pushing for the Common Core State Standards, Long Island teachers are appalled by what they’re experiencing in classrooms.

“These reforms are not only so disastrous, they’re funded by billionaires who are accountable to nobody,” said Ms. Kalb, also a former Shoreham-Wading River school board member. “And that’s the problem. If the decision-making was in local hands, common sense could prevail much more quickly and readily over Common Core. But the decision-making has been removed from anyone the public could impact.”

That disconnect between the public and the policy was on full display at a packed forum last week in Manorville, where state education commissioner John King was peppered with specific concerns and questions over Common Core and related education reform measures.

In his responses, he stuck largely to recounting numbers and data and studies. He took refuge in generalities, without trying in any way to level with those in attendance through concessions or even empathy. Then again, why would he have given it any effort? Mr. King doesn’t answer directly to the public. Like a 14-year-old at a great aunt’s funeral, he was only there because someone made him attend. (He had wanted to cancel the forums.) Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch said nothing, other than to tell the crowd to calm down.

At the very least, politicians would pretend to give a damn, and they may just feel the pressure to do something. The Common Core Standards were not created through legislation, so elected leaders can respond to complaints to their offices simply by saying: “It wasn’t me.”

That’s what’s so dangerous.

Click here for the entire article.

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