There is little question that yesterday’s announcement from the National Education Association has issues with the Common Core State Standards and are calling for a “course correction“will be dissected and debated with enough electronic ink to drown a thousand digital ships.
How do the NEA and AFT pullbacks affect the notion that CCSS advocates are part of a big tent? What does this mean for union-friendly states that are already having concerns about CCSS and their related assessments? Are we again at that stage where we are asking if this is the beginning of the end for the Common Core?
The talk on delays or slowdowns of implementation on Common Core are not likely to go away. But through all of the concern and consternation, no one seems to be offering a viable alternative. Are we to return to the Old West days of the 1990s, when it was virtually every SEA or LEA for itself? Are we suggesting that we shouldn’t have standards and accountability at all?
Yes, the CCSS standards movement should be focused on constant improvement. We should be looking at ways to improve implementation, improve learning materials, improve related PD, and, yes, improve the testing that goes with it. But at some point, we just need to accept that CCSS is a positive step forward for our public schools and focus on how to make sure all of our students are meeting expectations and learning to those standards.
But if we are going to continue to believe in the urban legends and grand conspiracy theories and of things that bump in the Common Core night, then maybe we need to consider what a committee chairman in the Missouri State House finally did. According to the Associated Press (and courtesy of Politico’s Morning Education), in response to all of the “sky is falling” chatter about CCSS, Mike Lair, a Republican and retired teacher offered an $8 appropriation for “tin foil hats.”
Or more specifically, according to the AP, “two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.”
I’m all in. I’ll even splurge on the first two rolls for all of the CCSS deniers and haters here in Eduflack’s home state.