High School Senior’s Testimony Devastates Common Core
Ethan Young is a student who has been subjected to the Common Core in the Knoxville School system and is currently a senior at Farragut High School. He testified on November 6th at the at Knox County (TN) Regular Board Meeting. His five-minute testimony to a packed house is devastating to the Common Core initiative.
First he takes on the facade of the Common Core Standards as “State Led .”
Here is the history of the Common Core. In 2009, the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers partnered with Achieve, Inc, a nonprofit that received millions in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thus the initiative seemed to spring from states when it reality it was contrived by an insular group of educational testing executives with only two academic content specialists. Neither specialist approved the final standards, and the English consultant, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, publicly stated she felt they left students with an empty skill sets lacking in literary knowledge.
While educators and administrators were later included in the validation committee and feedback groups, they did not play a role in the actual drafting of the standards. The product is a quote “rigorous preparation” for career and college yet many educators agree that rigorous is a buzzword. These standards are rigorous, just different and designed for an industrial model of school. Nevertheless, common core emerged. Keep in mind, the specific standards were never voted upon by Congress, the Department of Education, state or local governments. Yet the implementation, was approved by 49 states and territories. The President essentially bribed states into implementation via Race To the Top…..
He then takes some time to defend teachers and to speak against the teacher evaluation, then gets to the crux of the matter with common core, that it is a model of industrialized learning.
Standards based education is ruling the way we teach and learn. Yes, I’ve already been told by legislators and administrators, Ethan, that’s just the way things work. But “why”? I’m going to answer that question: It’s bureaucratic convenience. It works with nuclear reactors, it works with business models, why can’t it work with students?
I mean, how convenient calculating who knows what, and who needs what…I mean why don’t we manufacture robots instead of students? They last longer and they always do what they are told…but education is unlike every other bureaucratic institution in our government…the task of teaching is never quantifiable. If everything I learned in high school was a measurable objective: I haven’t learned anything. I’d like to repeat that. If everything I learned in high school was a measurable objective: I haven’t learned anything.
He ends with what kind of things should be taught to a free people.
Creativity, appreciation, inquisitiveness…these are impossible to scale but they are the purpose of education…why our teachers teach …why I choose to learn…and today we find ourselves in a nation that produces workers…..everything is college and career preparation. Somewhere our founding fathers are turning in their graves, turning and screaming and trying to say to us is that we teach to FREE MINDS….we teach to inspire, we teach to equip. The careers will come naturally…ask yourselves: haven’t we gone too far with data?