I respectfully refer to Diane Ravitch as the “E.F. Hutton” of Public Education. When she talks/blogs, people stop and listen. So here are exerpts of her January speech on the Common Core State Standards. I would ask that you focus on her opening statement…”It is good to have standards. I believe in standards….”and then imagine what “national standards” could be if they were designed to teach, and to reach EVERY child in America. I too believe in “standards” and believe they should be “national”, as America’s children fall under “one” nation and must be educated to reach their maximum potential. My greatest frustration is that those like Diane Ravitch who understand the value of “standards” and why the CCSS and nightmare-standardized testing will further destroy Public Education, are not organizing and coalescing around a rebirth of Public Education that is globally enviable for EVERY child. I get those who are fighting against the CCSS and standardized testing as it currently exists. I am one of them. Still, why aren’t the amazing individuals driving these efforts that include eliminating the corporatization of Public Education, crafting a position paper to be delivered to President Obama in a formal March down Consitution Avenue and to the steps of the White House?
The full text of Diane’s speech is attached.
“It is good to have standards. I believe in standards, but they must not be rigid, inflexible, and prescriptive. Teachers must have the flexibility to tailor standards to meet the students in their classrooms, the students who can’t read English, the students who are two grade levels behind, the students who are homeless, the students who just don’t get it and just don’t care, the students who frequently miss class. Standards alone cannot produce a miraculous transformation….
…I do not mean to dismiss the Common Core standards altogether. They could be far better, if there were a process whereby experienced teachers were able to fix them. They could be made developmentally appropriate for the early grades, so that children have time for play and games, as well as learning to read and do math and explore nature….
…We cannot have a decent democracy unless we begin with the supposition that every human life is of equal value. Our society already has far too much inequality of wealth and income. We should do nothing to stigmatize those who already get the least of society’s advantages. We should bend our efforts to change our society so that each and every one of us has the opportunity to learn, the resources needed to learn, and the chance to have a good and decent life, regardless of one’s test scores…..Diane Ravitch”