Thursday, May 14, 2015


Arnie Duncan Secretary of Education and his Common Core education plan is facing rejection by more and more schools, unions and teachers country wide.

The program is loaded with bad ideas that are putting teachers careers in jeopardy. Subjecting kids to the boring memorization of test questions creating a nation of citizens with tunnel vision as to how the working world works.

Watching Duncan implement his program when running Chicago schools and the dictatorial manner used in implementing the program doomed it to failure from day one.  What better way to get teachers behind your program than firing the entire staffs of a schools and putting so called teachers from a privatized teacher training program.  He even fired janitors, cooks, office help but eventually had to hire the cooks back as he could find no one to do the work.  A very few of the old teaching staff was rehired , the others left to spin in the wind trying to find work.

Tying teacher evaluations and pay hooked to the performance of the kids in their classroom was implemented at the very begging and not until evaluation time did they realize they had no written instructions to carry out the program goals.  

Teachers and parents alike hate the program and don't like what it is turning their kids into.

Even though the Chicago experience was anything but a success Arnie was made Secretary of Education and put his program into play nationwide.  Now he had a new hammer to force compliance, he can withhold your federal funds if your district isn't in the program.  Threat after threat has been issued to force participation but more and more schools are opting out.  It can only get worse from here as it is obvious the program is unfair to teachers and students alike.  Can you imagine being a teacher that had to spend time each day teaching the questions on the test simply to protect their careers.  Here is the link to details of his program.  When school districts turn down the federal dollars instead of complying with the program should be a good enough indicator to tell you how bad this program is.

To thrive, children require sleep, shelter, nutrition, fresh air, nature, athletics, play, love, family, friends, stimulation, education, community, a sense of power and purpose, and freedom to pursue one’s passions.

So of course we tailor our school system to take away as many of those needs as we can.  Start with sleep, at the beginning of the lets fix education system they loaded on up to four hours of homework each night automatically  increasing their work day to 12 hours or more.  Fresh air and exercise were gotten rid of by eliminating gym class.  Then their is the nutritious  school lunch program put in place by Mrs Obama, you have seen the great meals shown on the net as part of this program, kids go hungry rather then eat it. On sense of power and purpose ,by focusing on testing as a measure of knowledge  one's own passions and the students only purpose is to pass the test.

Zero tolerance and the instilling of fear brought about by 911 have turned the system into a brain dead bunch of administrators unable to judge each incident as separate deserving different punishment they pull the Zero Tolerance out of their hip pocket and go down the list. Let me see you did this and for that the standard punishment is this.  If they think this is a good way to administrate then we should be able to apply the same standards to our leaders.

I watch kids struggling home lugging backpacks pull of all their stuff I guess, some schools have no lockers, the only thing I can think of that lugging those huge back packs around prepares you for is being a ground pounder in the military.

Things have gotten way out of hand to bring it back will take a whole change in administration in the system.  What we have is not preparing our children to enter the work force.  All the  focus is on higher math and reading while other trade like traits are seldom addressed.  The certainly aren't funded.

Being a teacher in today's schools is a never ending battle between the teacher , their administrators, the parents, and the kids themselves.  Kids display very little respect for their teachers, can't leave their fingers off their cellphones, won't do assignments , can't or won't read simple instructions to complete a project.  The first thing a teacher has to do at the beginning of each year is to establish their dominance in the classroom.  Once they get that idea that this teacher is not a pushover they start to get with the program... A whole lot of work, that some teachers do really well.  If we are lucky they stay teaching.


1 comment:

  1. Well, I hope you stop telling me I should be a teacher!