Posts Tagged ‘Common Core’

New York Post Conjures Up New Common Core Villain: Driven, Snobbish Yet Cowardly Parents

April 10, 2016

Its always a good sign when shills for those who are systemically attempting to undermine public education, the better to privatize it, are reduced to making public arguments that read like they are written by a person on a six day drunk. Such is the study in utter incoherence found in today’s New York Post under the headline, Common Core opt-out movement is parents who can’t handle their kids failing by Naomi Schaefer Riley.

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Providing no evidence for her conclusions, mixing in a not so subtle accusation of snobbery,(” upper-middle class white parents “) adding a dose of gross civic negligence (“depriving parents, schools and taxpayers of valuable information about how well (or badly) we are educating our kids”) citing articles and systems that mock the very tests she is so desperately defending, Riley adds a new twist to Arne Duncan’s insulting statement of a few years back about “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were ” who were therefore opting out.

Riley’s takes Duncan’s insulting idiocy even further. Riley’s Opt Out parents are “helicopter parents ” who are simultaneously almost psychotic about the academic progress and success of their children and at the same time “don’t want to risk the fact that they might fail.”

Hence, these moral cowards have their children opting out.
That’s it. That’s her argument.

I am the parent of a child who is opting out and will opt out just as long as the campaign to privatize education continues. The Common Core aligned tests, funded largely by the despicable and insidious Gates Foundation and designed to insure most children would fail and in failing provide a rationale for the corporate takeover of public schools, are the central nervous system of that campaign.

As such, it is my belief that it is my moral and ethical duty and the moral and ethical duty of all parents to opt out of this corporate imposition.

As a parent I would love to speak with Ms. Riley about her convictions and how she arrived at them. I would love to have her accuse me and other opt out parents of cowardice.

Somehow I don’t see that happening.

I know it’s the Post and, as such, a low bar but still I believe such a public display of outright incoherence is a small but good sign that we are winning even as I know this war will continue for a long, long time. Such is one of the logical outcomes of allowing less than 1% of a nation to own over 40% of the nation’s wealth.

The Daily News Outdoes Itself with a Masterpiece of Ugly Spirited Nonsense

September 7, 2015

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Even in a campaign based almost entirely on public relations and perception management, yesterday’s editorial on “education reform” in the Daily News may be the most dishonest, manipulative and ugly spirited I’ve ever read on the subject. And I’ve read a lot.

Indeed, the unsigned editorial might well be studied as a masterpiece of manipulative bullshit, chock a block full of absurd assertions, gross insults, lies of omission and out right falsehoods – all to do nothing less than to poison public perception of the teachers’ union on the eve of Labor Day.

The phantom editorialist begin be lamenting that Andrew Cuomo, he who referred to the public school system as “the last monopoly,” was wrong in calling for a weasel worded “comprehensive review” of the deceitful and catastrophic Common Core standards. (For a brilliant and concise history of this long term con job, see Common Core Dilemma/ Who Owns Our Schools? by Mercedes K. Schneider.)

Somehow Cuomo’s attempt at appearing to listen to thousands and thousands of politicized parents of New York public school children, so enraged and disgusted by his reckless and damaging education impositions that they have refused to allow their children to take the tests he has forced down their throats,
“stands as a loud warning that the drive for teacher accountability is in dire jeopardy.”
The Daily News does not trouble itself with inquiring why any parent, never mind thousands of parents, would somehow not want their child’s teacher to be held accountable.

Better to skip that one.

The News is utterly flummoxed that a mere five months after an apparently all-powerful Cuomo used the budget to “push(ed) through the Legislature major changes to the state’s teacher-evaluation system, heightening reliance on kids’ Common Core standardized test results to gauge instructor performance, while shielding kids from consequences, “ parents across the state, mindful of what the “major changes” are doing to their children as well as their children’s teachers are, in greater and greater numbers and with more and more passion and articulation, simply refusing to go along with it.

I am one of those thousands and thousands of parents. I am also one of the thousands and thousands of teachers whose livelihood and professional reputation could easily be destroyed by the unconscionable and incomprehensible evaluation system that non-educator Cuomo rammed into law without a single debate or discussion as to its merits – not unlike the Common Core which apparently was consecrated as holy writ even before it was written. Meanwhile, in Long Island, a dignified and universally praised teacher whose reputation has been sullied by the evaluation system in question has brought the unholy mess to trial.

None of this troubles the Daily News who prefer to believe and in believing traffic the sweet and insidious lies that the states’ evaluation system is fair and just; that the Common Core was not, in fact, rushed into existence surreptitiously by a handful of education entrepreneurs funded by the Gates Foundation but “developed over many years by the nation’s top education experts. ”

It is instructive that the Daily News choose not to name the “nations top education experts ” or the exact length of time they toiled over their heavenly goal.

It is even more instructive that, in a statement that is beyond ludicrous,
The News insinuates that the parents who have opted their children out of the testing debacle have done so because they have been “ginned up” by the teacher unions. In other words, the thousands of parents who have opted out are so many human balloons with little tiny brains, pushed this way and that by the evil Svengali-like teacher unions.

Not only is this idea a grotesque insult to thousands of parents — and one that will hopefully resonate across the state and move thousands more to opt out — it is completely and tragically untrue.

I am a member of the largest teacher union local in the state and like many of my unions brothers and sisters I have and continue to be dismayed by both my unions’ support of Common Core and refusal to support the Opt Out movement.
But, of course, this disgraceful piece of propaganda was written exclusively and consciously for those who have no knowledge of what ed reform truly is and no way of finding out the truth of the matter in the media. It was written to deceive, to enrage, to divide those who do not know any better by those who do. And it was done at the expense of millions of children. It was written to be read on the eve of Labor Day to poison the souls of all who read it, indeed to do nothing less than “gird for war” against teachers who educate our children, against the public schools that have helped create the most powerful nation on earth, against unions that have created the middle class and given dignity to countless millions, and even against parents who stand up to the hubris of the state in defense of their children.
“O, “ wrote Walter Scot “ what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! “

DFER Illuminates Hidden Dangers of Opting Out

April 20, 2015


As both a public school teacher and a public school parent I am well versed with the arguments against the experimental Common Core State Standards and all that comes with it. I know of the Manhattan-Project-like secrecy in which the standards were created and how it was funded almost entirely by the Gates Foundation. I know of the mad rush in which it was implemented, the coercive methods employed by the Obama administration to insure its “adoption” by almost the entire nation, the developmentally inappropriate demands it makes on children, and above all the unprecedented amounts of super high stakes testing with which it is inexorably bound. I am aware too that the test scores from Common Core aligned tests form the largest component for evaluating teachers, schools, and entire districts. In short, I know that in a remarkably short period of time and with almost no parental or teacher input, the Common Core and the standardized tests that have been aligned to it have become nothing less than the central nervous system of the American public school system.
For these reasons and more I am an unapologetic advocate for parents allowing their children to opt out of such tests, as they did in ever increasing numbers last week and as did my own child.
That said, there are times, I feel, when matters of education, solidarity and self respect need be sublimated by people of good faith and integrity to larger and more pressing concerns of the commonwealth. That is to say, there are times when we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
I speak specifically of the potentially negative effects that opting out might have on the value of real estate and property in Scarsdale and other sections of Westchester.

Part of the danger in involvement with movements such as the battle to save public education is that a certain myopia can creep in so insidiously that one may not even begin to notice it. Accordingly, I will admit that in several years of arguing and advocating against corporate education reform in all its forms, not once did it dawn on me to consider how opting out might lower real estate values in Scarsdale. Shamefully, perhaps due to the same movement- created myopia, I cannot recall a single colleague mentioning it either. Nor has the problem appeared in any of the mainstream media, possibly due to pressure from teacher unions.
Honestly, I might well have remained oblivious to the Scarsdale property factor were it not brought to my attention by Nicole Brisbane, director of the New York State branch of Democrats For Education Reform in an article in USA Today reporting on the Opt Out phenomenon.

“Yet collecting educational data is important for the future of education and can help define the character of a town, said Nicole Brisbane, state director at Democrats For Education Reform.
“Schools are one of the biggest differentiators of value in the suburbs,” she said. “How valuable will a house be in Scarsdale when it isn’t clear that Scarsdale schools are doing any better than the rest of Westchester or even the state? Opting out of tests only robs parents of that crucial data.”
Insight into this “robbery” may not be enough for me to insist my child sit for the remainder of the tests that will be administered this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but when I ponder how my actions may affect property values and homeowners of Scarsdale and even the rest of Westchester County, it does give a certain illuminating pause. And for that, I can only give thanks to the good people at Democrats For Education Reform who remind me that, in the end, we’re all Americans and we’re all in this together.

Rep. Charles Van Zant: Common Core Will Turn All Our Children Gay

May 21, 2014

Rep. Charles Van Zant and pal pointing out the Common Core/ Gay Agenda

Rep. Charles Van Zant and pal pointing out the Common Core/ Gay Agenda

The following article is not from The Onion.

One question: Is this man insane or was he hired by proponents of the Common Core to make opponents of the Common Core look insane ?

When Rigor Collides With Wonder

February 12, 2014

As in all campaigns in which fear and brainwashing are essential components, corporate education reform is highly dependent on and makes great use of repetition. As such, teachers across America have been forced to read, listen to, and at times regurgitate the same language — never our own — endlessly to please the current education overlords who, being non educators, are radically different from those who came before them.

I assure you the current overlords are not easily pleased.

Consider Commissioner John King or Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — not to mention those like Bill Gates and Eli Broad, from whom people like King and Duncan receive their orders.

One of the more disturbing and disturbingly repeated words one hears in school these days is “rigor.” Teachers need to demand and model rigor. Students must display rigor. Lessons must be built on rigor. There need be rigor all over the place. Just as the experimental Common Core State Standards are suddenly absolutely essential for our kids to be “college and career ready”, so too must teachers and students approach the sacred Core with ceaseless rigor. If not, the mantra goes, how in the world will they ever compete for jobs in the super savage new global economy?

Personally, I am appalled by the use of such a word in schools, no less now, in fact, then when I first encountered it at least 1000 usages ago. Consider its various meanings:

a (1) : harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment : severity (2) : the quality of being unyielding or inflexible : strictness (3) : severity of life : austerity
b : an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty
2: a tremor caused by a chill
3: a condition that makes life difficult, challenging, or uncomfortable; especially : extremity of cold
4: strict precision : exactness
5a obsolete : rigidity, stiffness
b : rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli
c : rigor mortis

Such a word could only have found its way into education by someone who has no experience whatsoever in education and no understanding of it. I have been told by many that the demand that this particular word be used and used and used comes from non other than monopolist Bill Gates, which makes perfect sense, given the way this man conducts his life as well as his fierce desire to conduct the life of everyone else on the planet.

I had an encounter with the word this morning. Or rather, I had an encounter with the success of the incessant propaganda that has been rammed into my head for the past two years concerning this thing called “rigor.” It was a disturbing revelation that repetition works, and works without you hardly being aware of it.

At first.

What happened was this: as my lesson ended and I and my students prepared to leave my room, one of my charges had wandered over to the window of my classroom and stood there looking at the window, motionless. I called to him by name once, twice, three times, but he moved not a muscle. I could feel anger welling up within me as I walked to the window to confront him on his disrespect and for screwing up my rigorous schedule and theirs. We had to move. Now. No time for dilly-dallying.

When I got to the window and looked at him looking out the window I was instantly disarmed: I encountered a face in something like rapture. I encountered a child in wonder.
“Look! “ he said to me, never moving his head and pointing. “Look! How beautiful! The snow! It’s everywhere!” He pointed here and there on the snow covered playground which a fourth floor window afforded an angle he’d not seen before.

The other children heard the elation in his voice and rushed over to where we stood. They began to peer out the window, ooing and ahhing. Suddenly, where there was one child there was a crowd of kids, big eyed and smiling, being children, happy.

It was an extremely humbling and revealing moment. And it was deeply moving. And it was beautiful.

It made me feel shame for the impatience I had felt for this child only a moment before. And it made me loathe that much the more the damned fools that have hijacked our school system and rammed their sadistic, ignorant notions down our throats and into our heads so that we, in turn, ram them down the throats and into the heads of innocent children.
And it made me that much more determined to expose and expel them.