President Obama spoke about education and I hurled (rough draft)

The following is about the parts of President Obama’s state
of the union speech that had to do with education.
Teachers got a mention right off the bat; he talked about
how their sacrifice had led to the highest graduation rates of all time. It
didn’t get a clap.  Okay the speech had
just started so lets give that a pass.
Later he talked about how all children deserved access to a
world-class education and used the example of one New York Student who had
great teachers and innovative tutoring programs and was going to college. These
are the meat of his comments:
Race to the
Top, with the help of governors from both parties, has helped states raise
expectations and performance.  Teachers and principals in schools from
Tennessee to Washington, D.C. are making big strides in preparing students with
skills for the new economy – problem solving, critical thinking, science,
technology, engineering, and math.  Some of this change is hard.  It
requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding
parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our
kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test.  But it’s
worth it – and it’s working.
That last
sentence is very debatable.
In praising Race to the Top, his signature education agenda
for raising standards, he has in effect given a thumbs up to blame the teacher
evaluations and doubling down on the high stake testing that has sucked the joy
out of learning for so many teachers and students alike. Furthermore if he
doesn’t want kids to fill in bubbles he needs to let his secretary of education
and Pearson testing know because they have been doing that more under his
administration than ever before. I guess since he sends his daughters to an
exclusive prep school which doesn’t kill and drill and then over tests its
students he might not know that’s what is happening in our public schools but
at the end of the day he is in effect sentencing our kids to go to schools he
wouldn’t let his children near.
He also mentioned how working with governors from both
parties standards were being raised. He didn’t call it common core but anyone
who was paying attention knows that was exactly what he as talking about. This
is the same Common Core that teachers all across the nation are fighting
against, and not because it is some government takeover, though it is RttT
traded cash strapped states desperate for money the equivalent to pennies to
give up local control but because it ignores poverty, doubles down on high
stakes testing, siphons millions if not billions out of the class room and as
New York’s Carol Burris put it because they have seen the standards, Support is disappearing, not because
schools don’t have the Common Core curriculum, but because for the first time
they do.  After last year’s testing debacle, teachers are frantically
attempting to implement the standards using the modules provided by the state.
Kids and parents are reeling from the effects of teaching the Common Core
standards, at the fast pace needed to get through them in time for the tests.
But did you notice how he never mentioned common core? If he
wants it and believes in it then why didn’t he have the courage to mention it?
He had the courage to parrot a recent comment by Arne Duncan
about how things have improved in Washington DC, a district wrought with
cheating accusations and voucher and charter school scandals and Tennessee, the
state with the most schools that teach creationism as science in the country.
How does the president connect his call for increased
research in technology and science and his praise for the state, Tennessee,
which thumbs its nose at science by teaching creationism, more than any other?
Oh I guess it’s the same way he can pat the back of teachers, praising their
sacrifice but then subject them to Race to the Top.
Finally I would like to mention poverty, something he
mentioned over and over but instead of recognizing how it effects and holds
back children mired in it he ignored that fact.
Poverty, higher standards will fix that.
President Obama spoke about education and I hurled

3 Replies to “President Obama spoke about education and I hurled (rough draft)”

  1. What I thought was particularly telling was who he mentioned in conjunction with extending RTTT to Pre-K: "This year we'll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. And as Congress decides what it's going to do, I'm going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K that they need." Notice who is IN that coalition and who is not. NOT in the partnership? Parents and Teachers.

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