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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Newer Propaganda Video at Commoncoreworks.org

There is a new video at commoncoreworks.org.  It stresses the need for the Core in this era of high-speed information.   Let us compare the new video with the old.  The new version has none of the dollar bills so pervasive in the first video.  So many images of money must have proven a liability:  They reminded people of the Big Bucks behind the Core. 

Last Year's Version:  The Meaning of Life
The new video no longer mentions Shanghai, staircases in other countries or international competition.  Perhaps it isn't politically wise to publicly promote so vehemently the educational system of a country that heavily censors and suppresses freedoms.  

Vintage Core:  More of the Meaning of Life
There is no longer a great wave drowning the old world order.  The old imagery left a bitter taste.  It reminded one that Secretary Duncan once said Hurricane Katrina was the best thing to happen to education in New Orleans.  It brought privatization, sent a teaching force of mainly African Americans packing, only to be replaced by cheap TFA recruits.

Likening State Standards to a Tsunami

In the new video, a teacher is patiently explaining the video to a boy named Eddie.  Grandpa, apparently, has bitten the dust since September 2014.  (http://dianeravitch.net/2014/09/17/common-core-has-an-image-problem-new-ad-makes-it-worse/).  I guess they just couldn't convince his doddering old mind.  Has he been pushed off the Common-Core staircase or merely given a gun to shoot himself?


The new images come at you in full color.

The video states, "We all need the Common-Core State Standards to make sure that students are prepared for college and the real world."  Edupreneurs might all love the new market, but one naturally wonders why in our federal system of government fifty states need one set of standards and no constitutional amendment to empower it.  

The video goes on to propose that everyone needs to be on the same page from one end of the country to the other.  The Standards, as in the original video, are still likened to a staircase, teaching students to build things like "time machines," step by step. 

According to the video, "that staircase is the same no matter where you live.  So, even if you move, your new teachers know what step you're on."


Even in the same hallway of the same building, teachers of the same subject are rarely on the same page on the same day.  Students have different needs.  Students learn at different speeds.  Students have different interests.  One class may run with a given topic.  Another class may run from it.  Current events may intervene in different ways; there is a world entirely outside of test preparation and essentially far more important.  Teachers have diverse areas of expertise.   With the increased level of stress, given teachers may take ill or quit.  Classes may fall behind.  

Although students may "exercise" their brains in both rooms, reading maps, interpreting evidence, etc., if you think they can seamlessly transfer from one room to the next because of a thing called the Common Core, think again.  There are things called Content and Context which the Core seems to summarily dismiss. 

According to the video, "Your teacher will now also have more flexibility to help you really understand critical ideas."  If anything I have felt increasingly pressured to march in lockstep to the tune of the Almighty Test.  It is the antithesis of my reasons for teaching.  The video says these tests will "measure your growth better."  The more standardized a test, however, the less able it is to assess children who think in different ways.  Supposedly, the "new tests are just replacing the old ones you already take."  So, says the video, but see http://www.livingindialogue.com/excessive-standardized-testing-first-grade-fairy-tale/.

In the video, the teacher asks Eddie if he built his time machine, what would he see in the future.  He answers, "robots in my room."  With the increasing march towards uniformity, I fear teachers, Eddie and our children are becoming the robots of the future! 

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