Transparent Christina has a link to the video to which I’ll refer.  As a parent, what do you think?

David Coleman is discussing the study of Reading…

(Paraphrased) He stated that due to the depth of intensity required in studying to the text, that the Gettysburg Address should be studied completely out of context of the Civil War.  To paraphrase a hit video of last year:  he suggests we first look at: “What Does The Text, Say?”

Forget the Civil War, he says.  Forget Abraham Lincoln.  Forget Gettysburg.  Just study the text….

“One would need to spend 3 days on those three paragraphs…” David Coleman said…. ” And Martin Luther King’s, “Letters From A Birmingham Jail”,  would require at a minimum, two weeks to teach in the manner of Common Core….”

So we spend two weeks and 3 days tearing apart these two icons of American history and language.  That would be 13 open uninterrupted school days…. With DCAS testing, that wipes out the month of September.  If done in October, that leaves only 7 remaining teaching days.  If in November, there is only one other day to cover another topic.

The question begging to be asked:  is this the right age group to limit choices of material covered?  Is it better to know at least what all the great writings were about, and have the possibility to follow up later with in depth analysis if one so wishes?  Or is it better to emerge from a year of middle school, knowing only a handful of works?  “Excuse me teacher, who is this Mark Twain you speak so frequently of?”

My impression  from this description was that the intensity of analysis being directed at very young children, was something I did not receive until all my mandatory college classes were out of the way, and one could begin taking electives in one’s field….  But by being exposed to alot of items in secondary school, I did get a breadth of history.  Today’s children don’t.   Re-reading a text over and over for two weeks, would at this young age, make one hate reading….

That seems to be what is at the core of the problem at the core of Common Core… (example of repetition).  It is,…  as if we paid some exorbitant fund, and said, “make education better,” and the person receiving that money was so unimaginative, that they said… “I got it… We will make elementary school like Harvard!…  Let’s hire Professor Kingsfield from the Paper Chase.”

Instead, it should be about what works.  I am not so much questioning the motives or wishfulness behind David Coleman’s assertions.  I am, questioning his methods.  It is as if we had a student think he could wish himself to the top of a mountain…  No matter how intensely he tries, how much blood he forces through his brain, he remains stuck in this moment of space and time.  So even though his motives and desires and intensity may be in the right place, those with experience in the physical real world, know such methods don’t work in our physical realm and are if anything, a waste of time, no matter how ardently he espouses they should work…..

So beam him up, Scotty.

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