Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Declare Victory And Go Home

A recent evaluation of the state's preschoolers shows that only 47% of the kids are ready for kindergarten.   Last year the percentage was 83.   Golly, I wonder what happened to our kids in one year's time!   How did they lose so much skill?   Oh wait someone moved the yardstick.
This year the preschoolers were measured against the new kindergarten standards from Common Core.  According to Common Core, a child entering kindergarten is expected to know the difference between information/explanatory writing and opinion writing.  Well now that's easy for any five year old.
While we are at it, why not declare that all 5th graders should be fluent readers; and all 9th graders should be able to do a research paper with proper footnoted citations.  Why not go for broke and declare that all entering college freshmen should be able to do entry level courses in the basic skills of math and English.   Just isn't happening no matter what one declares.
Years ago, No Child Left Behind declared that all children would be on grade level by 2014.   Just in time that was realized to be impossible so the expectation was dropped with no fanfare at all.
Does ANYONE out there realize that kids are a lot like human beings and that each one is different from another?   Does ANYONE get that there is a developmental progress of both physical and cognitive skills?  Why don't we demand that infants talk and walk?  Oh how silly, they are not sufficiently developed physically for us to even consider that.   We easily accept that some babies will walk earlier than others or talk earlier.  That is all ok.
Common Core expectations have taken a page from Mussolini.  He was noted for whatever his other failures, he made the trains run on time.  Common Core is out to make kids' minds run on time.
No matter that students have differing needs and abilities.  Some students need advanced math, others need to learn consumer math.   Probably wouldn't hurt the advanced math students either.
We are demanding that all students learn the same thing.  We are also demanding that they do so at the same pace.  It doesn't even matter that the pace is not aligned with typical human cognitive development.  We are on a mission to improve education.   We WILL make all equal in what they learn.  We WILL do this so we will have equality in our education system and cure the ills of poverty and bigotry. When every child learns the same content on the same day, cognitively ready or not-- We will declare victory and go home.

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