Thursday, August 1, 2013

Common Core Furor.

I find myself in a very unusual place today.  It seems that recently a large number of people have come to the conclusion that the Common Core Curriculum Standards really stink. They're awful. Some of the comments include things like:

They know what they are doing to our kids and they are boring them to death in schools so more will drop out, lowering standards so certain people think they are getting smarter and making the cost of collage (sic) so high that only certain people can afford to go !

There are certain things in life worth getting pissed over. The intellectual loss of an entire generation is one of those things.

The simple fact is that children learn at different speeds on different subjects. Some administrator, who most likely spent little or no time actually being a teacher, buys into some program, with very little input for teachers. Why is it that for the past 2 months my child has not been instructed in any new material? 4 weeks for prepping/reviewing for a state mandated testing, so their scores are good, and now another 4 weeks of prepping/reviewing of math material for a placement test for her high school next year. That's a 5th of the school year not advancing academically, just going over what they know.

I, apparently, am not at all in anything resembling a charitable mood. My thoughts are very single focus, largely because this is something I have heard over and over and over again... however, whenever I've heard it before now, it has been met with one single response: "you can't expect special treatment for your child, no matter his need, that wouldn't be fair." However, now that the standards are being changed such that a large number of children in the US are facing the daily dilemma of the gifted child in public school, there is suddenly uproar. "What do you mean, my child has to spend months in school learning nothing?!? How is this right?"  Or "Our children will be bored! Why are we expected to let our children languish waiting for other children to catch up before they can move on?"  Pardon me while, in my thoroughly uncharitable mood, I raise an eyebrow and state plainly:

What a load of hypocrisy!

If I advocate for an appropriate education for my child, I am asking for special favors, and am placing my child above others, thinking that he is somehow better than other kids, and that he shouldn't be allowed to outpace the other children, as 1) they all even out in third grade, and 2) I'm just exaggerating his abilities to make myself look better anyway.  But, when the situation that many gifted children all over the world face daily suddenly looms large over their children, suddenly it is an outrage, and people should not stand for this!  What's all the more irritating is that not one single person complaining now will even think twice about once again relegating gifted children back to being bored, to being perpetually left behind and denied the education they deserve - because anyone who is on a trajectory faster than the average can just fend for themselves if they're so smart, completely missing the point that they were just arguing for the same exemptions for their children that they are systematically denying to mine, and to others like him.