Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reformy King John Pretends to Listen

I watched the hearings last night broadcast over the internet from Port Chester, NY. It appeared to me that parents there, while not raising their voices quite as much, had precisely the same concerns as the Poughkeepsie parents Reformy John labeled "special interests." The standards, they said, were rolled out without any proof of their validity, there is incessant testing, first graders are circling multiple choice answers instead of learning--you know, the usual nonsense that does nothing to help Pearson's bottom line.

The woman who moderated regularly scolded the troublesome parents to stop talking, that their two minutes were up, and got impatient when people who'd waited three hours to speak demanded the chance. She then spoke about how wonderful it was that King John gave them an additional few minutes rather than turning them away like dogs.

This article, evidently trying to be "balanced," appears to quote extensively from some Common Core propaganda sheet or other in between reporting what real people actually said:

Common Core is a state-led effort that seeks to provide consistent standards and appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live, and prepare them for college and the workforce. It is a product of bipartisan effort by the National Governors and the Council of Chief State School Officers and was developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts.

I'm wondering who those teachers were. Certainly no one ever consulted me or anyone I know. I also suppose, as did one of the speakers, that neither I nor anyone I know was prepared for college, since I've never been exposed to the wonders of Common Core. The article also quotes someone who didn't actually speak in order to provide a pro-Common Core point of view. But the speakers I heard had no love for it, or for Reformy John. One demanded, to applause, that he be fired.

King John said the state was doing a swell job protecting student privacy. I trust the King about as far as I can throw him. Leonie Haimson, who actually cares about public school children, says otherwise, and I believe her.  Reformy John also said would entertain minor changes, but that he was fully committed to both Common Core and junk science evaluations.  I would very much like to see King committed, but I'd prefer it be to an institution from which he can do no further harm to our students.

It appears to me all we got from the King last night was the lip service he saw as beneath him in Poughkeepsie. I don't believe he will entertain the UFT's request for a moratorium on high stakes, as that might somehow affect the bottom line of Pearson and his other billionaire BFFs to whom he answers. Ex-NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein was able to take his position and get a cool gig working for Murdoch. Why would King want to jeopardize his golden parachute simply because his programs fail the students, parents, and teachers of New York State?

After all, tuition at those fancy Montessori schools doesn't grow on trees, and the King doesn't want to have his own kids stuck in the same drill and kill system he so passionately defends for ours.
blog comments powered by Disqus