November 19, 2013

White Suburban Mom

My childrens' school doesn't use the Common Core curriculum, but that doesn't mean that I don't care about those families that are affected by it.  And it certainly means that I am offended by the United States Education Secretary making profoundly racist comments about people who resemble me:
It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut. 

My kids are in a public charter school.  One that we waited five years to get a kid into.  One that has all the same leadership and political issues as any other school, but has a curriculum and foundational teaching style that fits my kids.  There is always room for improvement, but the deciding factor is, and always has been, what sort of education my kids getting in the classroom.  When the politics affect the classroom, we gone.

And that is what bothers so many people in relation to Common Core.  It is inherently political.  It appears to be a wet dream of educational indoctrination curriculum for liberals.  No more 'See Jane run'.  Sample grammar lesson sentences from the above linked article include, 'Government officials' commands must be obeyed by all' and 'An individual's wants are less important than the nation's well being'.  Gah.  If my kids were in a Common Core school, I think we would jump ship and educate at home.

I don't need the school to teach my children morals, values, or political views.  That is for me to do.  I do believe that a world-view of belief systems can be presented in a way that doesn't force allegiance or derision in the school setting.

Arne Duncan made an offensive observation, because he brought race and affluence into the equation.  No parent, regardless of skin color, bank balance or address, likes to hear that their children aren't brilliant - but, we are also, most of us, acutely aware of our children's abilities (those people who let their tone deaf kids try out for American Idol, notwithstanding).  The real punch in the gut is realizing that our great country, founded by courageous rebels, that once was the breeding ground for innovation and invention, is now run by the very sort of dullard that Arne is trying to describe.  Our government officials aren't even bright enough to realize how stupid they are.

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