Thursday, September 04, 2014

Common Core Is Rotten

I'm sure you've already heard a bunch of other people express frustration with how poor the Common Core curriculum is at actually teaching kids. I knew Common Core was not a good educational system, but was hoping that since my daughter was a sophomore in high school this year, she wouldn't be affected much by the issues. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be showing up in her math, science or AP US History classes. She is having to read some worthless non-fiction books for English. Their reading assignment over the summer was The Talent Code. Is that truly useful for the majority of 15-year-olds? What made this book stand out among the sea of self-help books out there, that an English teacher picked it out for my child? Now she has to go through a list of other books of this type, and pick out another one that she would be interested in reading. Fortunately, they are also reading the traditional fictional literature that has been used in English courses. I'm still displeased with what I feel is a waste of my daughter's learning time.

She also informed me tonight that her Spanish class is being changed by this stupid system also. They're not actually concentrating on learning vocabulary or grammar in class anymore, the Dancer says. They're supposed to be magically learning that at home, then spending class time applying it. What? My daughter is luckier than most, in that I studied Spanish for seven years, and my eldest daughter took three years of Spanish as well. We can help her if she runs into difficulties because she's not getting what she needs in class. But I want my daughter to be studying grammar and vocabulary in class! I shouldn't feel like I have to help her, or supplement her education, at home.

At certain blogs, in this era where educational standards are falling victim to political meddling, I've read that not homeschooling your child amounts to child abuse. I resent that bitterly, because I know my daughter better than anyone else. Homeschooling would not be best for her at this time, because of personal reasons that are none of anyone else's business. I'm going to start by talking to some of the other mothers that I know, and see if anyone else is unhappy with the way this school year is starting out. Depending on whether I get a positive or negative response, Mr. BTEG and I will have to think about things from there.

Should I have tried to fight Common Core when our school district first talked about implementing it? Perhaps. To be honest, I don't have any friends that are fellow moms here in my town. I thought about joining the local PTA long ago, but decided not to when I started getting spammed with email from the national PTA, telling me to vote for things I would never have any intention of supporting. Even the PTA is all politics, all the time, and that disgusted me and put me off the entire PTA idea. So I definitely didn't feel like trying to lead what seemed to me at the time a single-handed crusade against our school board and superintendent, who described Common Core in gushing terms. If I can find some parents that are unhappy about how this is working out in practice, instead of theory, maybe we can band together to get something done. Or as I said above, Mr. BTEG and I will have to take a serious look at the rest of the Dancer's high school years.

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