Since the advent of Common Core, well before Mike Mulgrew offered to punch us in the face for opposing it, I've been getting complaints about it. They don't just come from the teachers, but from the supervisors and pretty much any parent who catches my ear.
I've heard stories of people surreptitiously sneaking into classrooms to photograph textbooks, and people with very young children who had to read about genocide. Not precisely sure 7 is the optimal age to introduce such concepts, but there you go.
The other day I was in earshot of someone whose kid was bringing Magic School Bus books into school, but the school found them unacceptable. Why? Because they weren't non-fiction. Too bad for the kids who love those books, because loving books is no longer rigorous or gritty enough. If you want them to be full of grit, second graders should be reading The History of Cement, from ancient Babylonian times right up to Roosevelt Island. That's the only way they'll be college ready, and Arne Duncan says we need to look second graders right in the eye and tell them whether or not they're college ready.
Most parents who are not insane don't worry much about whether or not their second graders are college ready. Of course Arne Duncan doesn't represent them, but rather Bill Gates and whatever education programs he's able to produce from his abundant and fertile hind quarters. That's why we're racing to the top, common coring, judging teachers by junk science, and Danielsoning our blues away. And not to put too fine a point on it, but who among us has ever seen Arne speak while Bill Gates drank a glass of water?
We are teaching children to hate reading, doing precisely the opposite of what we should be. We are relying on standardized tests and training our kids to pass them rather than to think. Thinking children choose their own books. Discouraging that at a young age is borderline criminal. What is the message we give children when we tell them what they love is prohibited? What will happen to kids who are told to read things in which they have no interest?
Is that how we reach the proverbial Top we're Racing to? Or will it produce a bumper crop of disenchanted, disinterested, unimaginative drones ready to populate Walmart as associates? I'm grateful my daughter graduated last year, avoiding quite a bit of this stuff. I'd certainly be opting her out if she were still in high school.
Just for laughs, here's a list of the groups that have passed the I Refuse resolution, as opposed to the watered down nonsense from UFT that endorses "multiple measures," meaning junk science, to evaluate working teachers.
Amityville Teachers' Association Associated Teachers of Huntington Baldwin Teachers Association Bay Shore Classroom Teachers Association Bellmore-Merrick United Secondary Teachers Bellport Teachers Association Bethpage Congress of Teachers Brentwood Teachers Association Brockport Teachers Association Camden Teachers Association Carmel Teachers' Association Center Moriches Teachers' Association Central Islip Teachers Association Clarkstown Teachers Association Commack Teachers Association Connetquot Teachers Association Deer Park Teachers' Association Farmingdale Federation of Teachers Freeport Teachers Association Fulton Teachers Association Garden City Teachers' Association Glen Cove Teachers' Association Half Hollow Hills Teachers' Association Hamburg Teachers Association Hastings Teachers Association Hewlett-Woodmere Faculty Association Ichabod Crane Teachers Association Islip Teachers Association Kingston Teachers Federation Lancaster Central Teachers Association Lake Shore Central Teachers' Association Lakeland Federation of Teachers Lawrence Teachers' Association Levittown Teachers Union Lindenhurst Teachers Association Little Flower Teachers Association Locust Valley School Employees Association Lynbrook Teachers Association Merrick Faculty Association Middle Country Teachers Association Miller Place Teachers Association MORE Caucus (NYC) New Hartford Teachers Association New Paltz United Teachers New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees New York Mills Teachers' Association North Babylon Teachers' Organization North Bellmore Teachers Association North Rockland Teachers Association North Shore Schools Federated Employees North Syracuse Education Association Oneonta Teachers' Association Orchard Park Teachers Association Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers Plainedge Federation of Teachers Plainview-Old Beth Page Congress of Teachers Port Jefferson Teachers Association Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association Ramapo Teachers Association Rocky Point Teachers Association Rockville Centre Teachers' Association Rome Teachers Association Sherburne-Earlville Teachers' Association Smithtown Teachers Association Spencerport Teachers Association Springville Faculty Association Shoreham Wading River Teachers Association
I'm grateful for all the union leaders who stand up for public school teachers, parents and children. One day I, too, hope to have one.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.