Monday, December 28, 2015

Common Core: Children as Work Product

It's always interesting to get other points of view. Fortune has a piece about how business got schooled, and it's interesting on multiple levels. Of course, those of us who've seen Common Core as a top-down corporate takeover of public education are interested in seeing business fail here. That's the main point of the piece. But it's tough to ignore the incredibly crass nature of its proponents:

...Tillerson articulates his view in a fashion unlikely to resonate with the average parent. “I’m not sure public schools understand that we’re their customer—that we, the business community, are your customer,” said Tillerson during the panel discussion. “What they don’t understand is they are producing a product at the end of that high school graduation.”

The Exxon CEO didn’t hesitate to extend his analogy. “Now is that product in a form that we, the customer, can use it? Or is it defective, and we’re not interested?” American schools, Tillerson declared, “have got to step up the performance level—or they’re basically turning out defective products that have no future. Unfortunately, the defective products are human beings. So it’s really serious. It’s tragic. But that’s where we find ourselves today.”

Our children, evidently, are products, and if they can't work for Exxon, the world's number one climate change denier, they are defective. This begs the question, is Common Core designed to churn out fodder for corporations? Is Exxon, a corporation that places profit over welfare of the planet, the best arbiter of what's good for our children? And if Common Core truly promotes critical thinking, wouldn't that be bad for a corporation like Exxon?

I'm encouraged at failures on the part of people who paint our children as "product." I'm also happy to see opposition to this nonsense, even if it comes from the far right. Sadly, I very much think none of this would be happening if it hadn't been Barack Obama initiating reformy nonsense. The right has to oppose everything he does, even his Nixon goes to China episode in which he opposes union and embraces privatization.

Sadly, the referenced piece fails to question the motivations of Common Core and seems to take for granted all the nonsense it presumes to accomplish. The writer seems unaware that it was never tested anywhere and fails utterly to question its methodology. Nonetheless, it's significant that Gates and his minions have met such a huge roadblock, and there's a lot in this piece that tells us just why the roadblock is so necessary.
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