AS with everything, there needs to be a clear and guiding principle. Education, How do we know if what we are doing is the right thing?
That principle needs to be: Children who are excited to learn, learn…
We then use that principle as a rubric, and hold it up to every question, every issue, and ask ourselves … does this issue before us get us there? And now fast?
Such as Common Core… Hold Common Core up and ask, does this make children excited to learn? If yes, you keep it; if no, you don’t.
Free meals for breakfast and lunch for all students… Does this make children excited to learn? If yes, you keep it; if no, you dont.
Shorten the school year between Labor Day and Memorial Day… Does this make children excited to learn? If yes, you keep it; if no, you don’t.
Putting more teachers into classrooms to achieve an 11:1 student/teacher ratio… Does this make children excited to learn? If yes, you keep it, if no, you don’t…
Testing kids on a computer, 100 out of 180 days of school…. Does this make children excited to learn? if yes, you keep it; if no, you don’t…
But it is not all simple….
Take the influx of Charter Schools. Does this make children excited to learn? If yes, you keep it; if no, you don’t… But, here is the rub, if it makes some children who are the lucky ones hand picked to attend, very excited to learn, but it takes away resources away from the majority of those who now with less funding, now have less an inclination to want to learn,… you create more negatives than you do positives…
When you have more negatives than positives, you shouldn’t have that policy.
Take the establishment of Common Core… Does this make children excited to learn? I have read reports from parents who have children under a teacher’s care where this happens. In in that regard it passes the test. However, we have seen the actual test which will be taken by all. It is a real downer. It is not challenging, it is oppressive. There is a difference. Running a marathon is challenging. Doing it while being fired upon by machine gun fire, is oppressive.
Therefore if Common Core is causing more negatives than positives, it needs to be revamped…
In myriad discussions with teachers, I have found that the positive results some are able to extract from Common Core, is solely because of the effort and dedication of the teacher who now has to work fifteen times harder simply because Common Core is so bad. If one just teaches Common Core as one is supposed to, they say, one hurts students. It is harder for a teacher to not teach well, than it is for doctor to kill patients on purpose. Both are simply not wired that way. Therefore against extraordinary odds, these teachers do their best to prevail, and make sure that these children are not severely damaged by this curriculum. More teachers would have already quit I get told, except they fear their replacements were trained in Common Core , would have no knowledge of how to compensate for what they could never see was missing. Therefore the teachers stay.
We are forced to look at the good results from these heroes, as coming out of something bad like Common Core. Sort of like the Obama administration takes credit for Syria’s destruction of chemical weapons (a good thing), which they say only happened because they were going to bomb the entire country as punishment (a bad thing)…..
Does this help children to love learning? Across the width and breadth of this nation, the answer is no. That is why Common Core needs to quietly disappear.
What does work, is having teachers teach. It is what they were trained to do; it is how they are wired; it is what they love to do. Anything that helps this, needs to be encouraged; anything that hinders that from happening, needs to be eradicated….
A Litmus test for Education….