Common Core central planners strike again: “Let us tell you how to teach”
Writers of the new Common Core standards are explaining to teachers they will have to change the questions they ask their students in order to comply with these new standards. Only questions that keep the discussion on the text, say about the Gettysburg Address, are to be asked. Teachers must not accept students’ responses based on their backgrounds and experiences, as this will allow the discussion to veer away from the text. See “Standards writers wade into curriculum,” Education Week August 10, 2011.
This level of micromanaging teachers is the next logical step for the central planners in Washington D.C. Now that they have coerced 45 states to adopt these national Common Core standards as a condition of receiving federal money, they are moving on to their next steps: one federal curriculum and one federal test to rule them all. And don’t put it past them to issue detailed teaching guides for every teacher in America with a list of the proper questions to ask and acceptable and unacceptable student answers.
It simply doesn’t work to micromanage the education of children from Washington D.C. The education of a child is exquisitely personal and local. Every child’s education is handcrafted. The learning process cannot be mechanized, industrialized or centralized. No amount of technology, no standards, no curricula, no test, no straightjacket over what kinds of questions to pose and answers to accept will improve the quality of education in this country. A child learns when a caring adult speaks to him directly, calls him by name, and conveys knowledge from one mind to another.
Even here in Washington state, the central planners in state government have tried to micromanage the education of the children attending over 2,000 schools in this state. Since 1993 state lawmakers have spent over $5 billion on more than 80 education reform programs such as: smaller class sizes, increasing teacher pay, Math Helping Corps, Math Initiative, Reading Grants, Promoting Academic Success and many others. See our education reform plan, Appendix A.
How much more unrealistic are attempts by the federal government to control the teaching of the children in Mill Creek, Washington.
Helping teachers teach by allowing them, not central planners, to choose the materials which work for their individual students would do much more for the students. Decentralize education by letting teachers teach and principals lead. This is the answer to improving the schools. See our education reform plan.