Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Rigor" is the Word!

This Advocate article is just another in a long list of propaganda pieces designed to continue the process of ramming though the Common Core in our state public schools.  In the first line of the article, Will Sentell continues to frame the argument about Common Core as a struggle by the "good guys" who want more "rigor" in our schools against the "bad guys" who are supposedly backwards people who want to keep "dumbed down" standards. I would refer my readers again to the letter below written by a parent of an autistic child who knows absolutely from her own experience that you cannot succeed with a one size fits all system of education. Her child will be just going through the motions along with thousands of other children for whom the Common Core is not appropriate!

Lottie Beebe is correct when she explains that just letting all the local school systems design their own curriculum to satisfy the Common Core standards will not solve the problem. The point is that each school and each teacher will be judged by how all students do on the Common Core tests. They will be forced to neglect children who do not fit the new system.The students neglected will include most special education children and most voc-tech oriented students who should be prepared for great careers instead of trying to make them ready for our 4 year colleges. That's more than half the students enrolled in our public schools. We have already tried that experiment with our students by pushing most of them into the Core 4 diploma, and it did not work. We now have fewer students completing 4 year colleges than 10 years ago when we tried more "rigor for all". What the proponents of Common Core want us to believe is that there is only "rigor" and therefore only true value is a pure college prep curriculum for all our students. This is the opposite of the system used in Finland and many other countries that are considered leaders in education. This will be a disaster for our public schools and thousands of our students.

We are already hearing that the huge boost in construction and technology industries in Louisiana is going to demand new workers that are trained in the tech fields, not in the traditional batchlors' degree fields. The same is true of the growth in the health care industry which requires mostly 2 year Associate grads for most jobs as our population ages. It is not true that Common Core also prepares students for those jobs. We are already hearing reports that some of the new construction projects in Louisiana will be bringing in expert welders from Taiwan because we do not have enough trained workers in our state. Our high school grads will be relegated to serving fast food to the many imported high tech workers coming to our state because we insisted in preparing our students for the wrong careers! Whom do you think will be blamed when it becomes clear that our students got a bad deal? Not the reformers. Just the implementers.