I thought it might be fun for the Friday before Christmas week to put up a blog post from last year that has been making me feel a bit prescient about the Common Core rollout. So, here is a blog I penned in May of 2012, "The Fate of The Common Core: The View from 2022."
It's hard to talk about schools today without talking about technology. Enthusiasts celebrate the wonders of tablets, virtual schools, and "blended" learning. Skeptics recall a litany of overhyped, underwhelming past efforts. News accounts whipsaw between breathless tales of digital learning and horrific accounts of troubled virtual schools. Last year, Forbes ran a cover story, "One Man, One Computer, 10 Million Students: How Khan Academy Is Reinventing Education." But we've been there before, plenty of times. Indeed, in 1922, Thomas Edison proclaimed, "The motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system...In a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks."
Back at the beginning, in 2009 and 2010, I never would've expected the Common Core debate to get this heated and impassioned. Why? Unlike a lot of folks, it's because I thought (and continue to think) that the Common Core itself just doesn't matter that much. Now, please stay with me a bit before deciding you disagree. I always think of the food pyramid. When the pyramid was unveiled, I'm sure some amped-up nutritionists excitedly thought it would make a huge difference when it came to health and obesity. Turned out: not so much. Most people have never paid a whole lot of attention; after all, it's just a bunch of suggestions assembled through a bureaucratic process.
NNSTOY's Report on Teacher "Career Pathways" Yesterday, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) released its new report on "Creating Sustainable Teacher Career Pathways" (done in partnership with Pearson's Center for Educator...
The Los Angeles Unified School District has been lauded -- and scrutinized -- for its trailblazing efforts to reform teacher evaluation and include student achievement in hiring and firing decisions. But the $1 billion push to provide every student and teacher with an iPad may be attracting the most attention.
Nelson Mandela passed away last week. The encomiums have been touching, plentiful, and, in a case like this, inevitably unequal to the task. There's nothing that I can usefully add on that front. It has struck me, though, that amidst all the touching reactions, there are a few instructive takeaways for those involved in schooling that haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
Bill de Blasio, New York's new mayor, is seeking a schools chancellor. Truth is, I'm pretty impressed by some of the names that have been popping up in the search. That said, today, I want to chat briefly about one of the more out-there names that's been surfaced for chancellor. Brewing behind the scenes is a small, quiet campaign to convince de Blasio to appoint Randi Weingarten.I think the Weingarten-for-chancellor idea is an intriguing one.
Yesterday, the triennial PISA results were announced, prompting a paroxysm of spastic pontificating. Hands were wrung, familiar talking points were rehashed, and PISA Overlord Andreas Schleicher once again took the results as his cue to lecture American educators and policymakers on the wonders of common standards and the perniciousness of school choice. The funny thing is that all this gnashing of teeth is, quite literally, for nothing. There are at least seven reasons I don't give a fig about the PISA results.
During the past couple months, newspapers and cable news have had a field day analyzing Obamacare's troubles. Firestorms over HealthCare.gov or President Obama's unfounded assurances seemingly sprung from out of the blue. This followed years during which these boiling issues received little media scrutiny, permitting problems to fester. There are important lessons here for K-12's current brouhaha over the Common Core. Introduced in 2010 and adopted by forty-plus states with little notice by the end of 2011, the Common Core has since rocketed into the popular imagination. Headlines are now filled with tales of angry public meetings and legislative clashes in places like Florida, New York, and Georgia.
Say something smart once and there are huge rewards for spending a career saying it, in increasingly elaborate forms. Academics who own an idea get hired by prestigious universities, deliver keynotes, and get all kinds of attendant perks. Consultants who own an idea become must-haves for districts, foundations, and contractors. The result is a familiar kabuki of hyperspecialists airing their prebaked views.