logo - runeman.org


to you, from me.

Chide me if you will.

All photos in this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, unless specifically stated otherwise. If something written seems worth your time and effort, use it under the same license.

This is an archived blog. Those interested in my current blogging, feel free to visit
Runemanations where new posts will go.

Thu, 26 Jul 2012

Surrounding the Common Core

There seems to be a rush to find ways to write curriculum to address and align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS or Common Core) and it bothers me.

Image Credit: Jeff Kubina photo of sculpture by Claes Oldenburg

An apple isn't going to be very interesting to eat if there is only a core to start with.

A curriculum isn't very rich if it is merely the core of a curriculum.

I am very worried that the effort states, districts, individual schools, teachers and students will make to satisfy the demands set by adopting and supporting the Common Core will eliminate most of what has traditionally made education worth the trouble.

I believe, very strongly, that the Common Core is a trap rather than a solution. The rich curriculum of U.S. public schools has been shrinking. I taught for 36 years. I watched home economics disappear. Shop classes briefly became robotics classes and then stopped altogether. Civics is currently being shuffled into the hands of the English and Math teachers.

At the same time, there has been a "time on task" movement that focused on reading skills, rote math skills and endless years of grammar study. Recess disappeared. Physical Education classes merged boys and girls together and had class sizes rise to the 50s. Of course, there are now more little league and town football programs than ever before...in some communities. The goal, too often is just winning, not participation or fun. The sidelines are crammed with parents screaming at the players (often their own kids) and swearing at referees and coaches. Somehow these hyperorganized sports don't seem a great replacement for learning teamwork in a supportive Phys Ed class or being the older siblings providing encouragement and a good example (once seen as learning leadership) during recess in the schoolyard.

School day music and art classes are under pressure or are even gone from the schools.

All of these components are the parts that surround the Common Core. They are the tasty parts of the apple. I don't want to buy an apple that is just a core. I don't want my grandchildren to attend a school that concentrates only on the Common Core.

Remember. Children are eager learners unless the desire is squeezed out of them.

Surround the Common Core.

posted at: 15:08 | path: | permanent link to this entry