Pop Culture

The College Dropout Compares Self to Shakespeare Play, Hilarity Ensues

Kanye West took to the airwaves to express his undying devotion to the walking punchline that is Kim Kardashian:

“I felt like our love story is a love story for the ages. I felt like when we first got together it was like a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing where it’s like she’s a reality star and I’m a rapper.”

Capulets. Montagues. Reality stars. Rappers. Obvious correlation, right? 

Stay in school, kids. 

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Education, Politics

Ten Reasons to Resist/Refuse Common Core

Anthony Cody, Education Week blogger (and definitely not a white suburban mom, Arne Duncan), offers a phenomenal take on the major faults of the Common Core State Standards. To sum up:

  • CCSS were not developed in a democratic manner.
  • No one who knows anything about early childhood development was consulted.
  • It’s meant to encourage “market-driven innovation,” valuing profit for Pearson over teacher collaboration
  • It claims to be rigorous, but it’s terribly rigid
  • CCSS is all about high stakes testing
  • Student scores will plummet – by design
  • You think the NSA wants your info? Hah! CCSS is all about collecting info about your kids.
  • It’s never been field tested. NEVER.
  • CCSS centers around the misguided belief that an education is about “college and career readiness.”
  • The biggest problem in education isn’t the curriculum; it’s the obscene level of poverty that our elected leaders choose to ignore.

Perhaps someone should call Arne Duncan’s mother. Her son’s not as brilliant as she thought he was.

NEXT: Why CCSS is making this blogger/AP teacher rethink his association with the College Board.

Education, Politics

Arne Duncan Opens Mouth, Neglects To Engage Brain

You’ve got to give him this: he’s terribly consistent. And tone deaf.

Captain Clueless of the USS Common Core, Arne Duncan, thinks criticism of Common Core State Standards can be summed up as follows:

 “(W)hite 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.”

Valerie Strauss has more in her invaluable blog, The Answer Sheet.

Education, Life

More Common Stories from an Uncommon Corps

This week’s musings from the best job in the world:

  • My runaway student has returned. No chance of passing this trimester, but at least he’s safe and sound.
  • One student presented me with a “Hump Day” t-shirt: “I saw it, and I knew you’d like it!” I do. And I’ll wear it tomorrow.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and increases the likelihood of Saturday School. I’ve never had so many miss school so often as I have this year.
  • One of my college students showed up this week in tears. She’s missed class the week before because her appendix burst. Afraid she’d lose credit, she forced herself to class just days after surgery. That wasn’t all, she told me. They had to remove her ovaries as well. When my students face problems like this, having them write a problem-solution essay isn’t all that important.

But today, just when the Teaching Gods knew I’d been contemplating a career change, this email arrived:

Jeff.

It was a delight this past week to see (our daughter’s) face as she waltzed into the house bearing the certificate for November Student of the Month.  She was so pleased to have gotten the recognition amid so many great students and caring kids.

Thank you from my wife and I for your role in our daughter’s life and for the professional attentiveness in not only appropriately challenging her academically, but also for respecting her abilities as a caring and honorable young woman.  You took a step forward in nominating her and I respect the faith and judgement which you entrusted to her.  Thank you.

Extending our support to you again as an example, leader and teacher in the trenches every day.  You are valued and to be encouraged by these simple words as well as our frequent prayers.

Teachers will tell you they don’t teach for the money. We don’t. It’s for moments like this. Just a little validation.

Education, Politics

Calling all Teachers! Time to Step Up – Our Champ Is Sidelined!

Just read on Diane Ravitch’s blog that she’s been forced to cancel upcoming appearances due to a blood clot in her leg and walking pneumonia. There is NO ONE fighting more to end privatization and stop the insane education reformers than our 75-year old champion.

It’s up to us to pick up the slack while Diane’s sidelined. Start a blog, get a Twitter account, pester your Facebook friends with the truth about what’s happening in our public schools. Buy a copy of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.

In Michissippi, hit Lansing with everything you’ve got. Email One Tough Nerd and his minions, especially Rep. Lisa Lyons. Let them know we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Diane Ravitch’s tireless efforts have helped change the conversation about public education. Keep the conversation going.

And while you’re at it, drop by her blog and wish Diane a speedy recovery.