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Are Schools Too Easy?
Millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs go unfilled for lack of qualified applicants. Children acquire an adult work ethic by suffering consequences for not working as well as they can while they are in school.
Like the other powerful school reformers who are presently changing the course of U.S. public education, Duncan comes from a privileged background and sees education as a platform for social engineering.
Beware Critical Thinking
Everyone agrees that children should learn to think critically, but not everyone agrees how they are supposed to do this. Critical thinking is not a subject that can be taught separately from a body of knowledge. To think critically, you have to have something to think about.
California Waiver Undermines States’ Rights
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has set a pernicious precedent in California by making a separate deal with eight California school districts concerning the unachievable requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Children K-3 Need a Different Approach
The Common Core guidelines ignore differences between beginning readers K-3 and children who have learned to read. Not only that, but CC does nothing to change an entrenched instructional method that leaves 50% of U.S. school children unable to read at their intellectual level.
Beware of smoke and mirror reasoning fostered by entrepreneurs whose principal agenda is the discrediting of the public schools and the rechanneling of public monies into the private business sector.
Common Core Misinterpretation
Workshops about the new Standards are being held for classroom teachers around the country. Unfortunately, some of the administrators conducting them have little understanding of what they mean. Parents and teachers who don't want to be misled will have to study them for themselves.
Common Core Mission Statement
Subjecting the Common Core mission statement to the kind of close reading recommended by the Standards reveals a goal that is lacking in the human element. Job skills are not enough to get a person through the disappointments, tragedies and humiliations of 60-80 years of living.
Comparing U.S. to Other Countries
International comparisons make interesting reading. They may even help planners to some extent, but in general, comparing the results of US education to that of other countries is probably meaningless. A more meaningful approach would be to compare state to state.
Criticism of Reform Not Welcome
Top-tier reformers like Arne Duncan and state superintendents don't want to listen to the valid criticisms of parents, principals, and teachers. They meet complaints by taking the high ground, equating their untried, testing-heavy education reforms with the moral struggle for civil rights.
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