Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On the Rigor of the Common Core and Fidelity of High Stakes Testing

"What the wisest parents want for their children, that must we want for all children."
J. Dewey

Touting the CCSS version of standardized education with lots of rigor and fidelity as a cure-all for what ails American public education is a charade!  More and better standardized educational experience (rigor) that will be controlled and measured with high stakes standardized test scores (fidelity)? Really? Standardized educational experience and in particular, CCSS will do nothing to improve children's learning experiences in American classrooms. The elements for improving educational experience for all American children are still not in place: Personal time and attention from teachers through smaller class sizes, stable home lives, reduction of food insecurity, regular experiences in fine arts education and opportunities for student's self determination of educational experience. These factors are critical for improving American education, but alas...what children got instead after the Wall Street Crash of 2007-2008? More standardized testing. The idea that you can improve children's educational experiences by ignoring their physiological and psycho-emotional needs and imposing authoritarian, no excuses, get tough policies on them and their teachers is anathema to improving the human condition and human potential. What you will end up with is a mono-culture that perpetuates the standardization of the human mind. What children will learn is that the CCSS are nothing more than more of the same old, same old non-consensual learning experience driven by radical behaviorism. Children will remain outside the decision making processes central to the learning experiences they must participate in, and teachers will be forced to teach to the test. 

The end game is to de-professionalize teaching, hire pseudo-teachers who don't need living wages, pensions or other benefits and educate children through cheaper, technology driven screen-based interface whose assessments mimic standardized test questions.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mike Pence Has No Problem Slashing Indiana Public Education Funding Again

How much state funding will Indiana public schools and other public entities lose if Mike Pence's corporate property tax cut initiative is ok'd by the Republican dominated Indiana General Assembly? Plenty! Who does Mike Pence represent? It certainly isn't the Indiana middle class whose 1.1 million children attend Indiana public schools. Only an agent of the opulent minority would consider a funding cut of this magnitude to cash strapped Indiana pubic schools, libraries and municipal government services.

The promise of jobs in exchange for tax cuts has done irreparable harm to the middle class and to municipal institutions like public schools and libraries. Time for the Indiana General Assembly to reconsider this governor's plans to further decimate the middle class? Call or write your state legislator here: Indiana General Assembly