Friday, May 02, 2014

Common Cored

I have no opinion on the curriculum of Common Core because I know nothing about it. The concept of national standards is fine, though it depends on what those standards are, and Common Core didn't create all the stupid testing obsession, though it probably has exacerbated it. Louis CK made some rather lukeworm comments on Twitter about Common Core, basically amounting to saying that maybe this is a good idea but the implementation currently sucks and we need to rethink this, which inspired "LOUIS CK IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" articles by horrible people, like Alexander Nazaryan.

He begins with the usual method of undermining someone by High Pundits. Louis is angry, you see, and usually he's funny when he's angry, but now he's just angry. So, you know, don't listen to him, because he's angry, and emotional, and wrong.

Then we get to this:
There are also conspiracy theorists who deem the whole project a massive payout to test maker Pearson.

Totally cray-cray, right? I mean, Pearson is charging huge amounts of money for crap product because they're just good people.
And his frustration with some tough homework aside, he must surely smell plenty of bovine excrement in the American educational system: China, South Korea and Germany are leaving us in the chalk dust, most Americans can barely find America on the map, and the only time our schools are in the news is when there’s a shooting/stabbing or some kid in Indiana shows up for the seventh-grade dance in a Klan outfit.

He made clear his frustration wasn't with "tough homework." He said the homework was badly written and incomprehensible to a 3rd grader. And where I live, schools are in the news constantly.


The tests are thus far imperfect, as is how we prepare for them. With that I agree.

Which was Louis CK's point. So you agree! But he's still wrong, because angry.
But staging scenes from Of Mice and Men isn’t going to catch us up to China anytime soon. Nor are art projects or iPads. It was dismaying to hear the new New York City schools chancellor, Carmen FariƱa, recently complain that our students are deprived of “joy” in the classroom. Joy, our twerking young ones know. Trigonometry, not so much.

Alexander Nazaryan
"has a B.A. in English Literature from Dartmouth. " No word on his twerking skills, or his knowledge of the hippity hop.

And the punchline:

It is kids in the South Bronx or the South Side who would benefit from a little more rigor in the classroom and a little more accountability from their teachers, some of whom think it is enough to merely show up and baby-sit disadvantaged kids.

Ah, yes, those awful teachers, if only we fail to train them in a new curriculum and then judge them with poorly written tests they will be sure to get better!