Friday, May 4, 2012

ECLB: Every Child Left behinds

Common Core Standards...Issue of Control?

As part of the ever tightening desire of political power players to control public education, in recent years we have been given the mandate of the Common Core Standards for Schools. Alfie Kohn describes this movement as another attempt to tighten the noose around accountability and assessment, ensuring that one size, indeed, fits all.

It's frustrating to witness this debacle in motion, for in the past forty years we have all lived through this movement of politically mandated- dare I say_ corporate driven- attempts to jam every human being into some kind of a die-cast mold of achievement and accountability. As I have pointed out in a recent post, the big winners here are not the students but the corporations such as Pearson and others that are demonstrating their ability to achieve and reap big profits in the name of global competition.

"It's rather like the effort to reframe vouchers as "choice." They've also been very shrewd this time about co-opting the education organizations by soliciting their counsel. These groups are so desperate for a "seat at the table" of power that they've agreed to confine the discussion to the content of the standards rather than asking whether the whole idea makes sense for children."

The "one size fits all" model of education has been around for a long time, but the requirement for differentiated learning will never go away. How do the Core Standards equalize differentiation? Do we then begin developing an individualized stat such as a golfing handicap to balance the players in a future endeavor? Let's bring back the old SRA reading groups when to be assigned to the PEWTER group means you have been cast in the debtors prison of a Charles Dickens novel, with no way to get out of jail and be with your friends in the GOLD reading group.

Somethings don't change, but children and their learning styles do change,and until the government get that straight, the boondoggle of Core Standards and other things will certainly leave all of us behind.

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