Common Core and Education Reform

Some Thoughts & Findings about Common Core & Education Reform ~ Written by B. Mostello, Former Teacher. 

I have heard that School Board candidates are out on the Campaign Trail. They have knocked on a few doors and told you they are against Common Core and passed political fliers in regards to their stand on many issues surrounding Education Reform. Below I have created a list of topics surrounding Common Core & Education Reform. Please add any facts or other findings you may have in the Comments Below.

1. First thing to know is that, the far right uses the fight against Common Core as Political Propaganda. They know several parents, some teachers etc., do not like CC and they (for example, Glenn Beck crowd) see it as a way to gain votes and bash President Obama. However, some of the folks on the right are the people who chose to adopt Common Core in the First Place. 

2. Let the State of TN make the decisions about CC. It is their job to figure out what to do, the State chose to adopt CC for the upfront money. Let the State sort it out, it is not a school board's job. School Boards follow the decisions made by the State. As do School Administrators and Teachers.

3. Republican Candidates in our County have accepted campaign contributions from Students First.org / Democrats for Education Reform, founded by Michelle Rhee- a Democrat (Kevin Huffman's x-wife) Personally, I question why a Conservative Republican would accept contributions from a Democratic organization, doesn't make sense? Michelle Rhee has contributed to several conservative candidates.Which I personally also find to be questionable.

4. Talk directly to several teachers, ask them what they think needs to be improved. I've talked with some teachers who actually like CC and feel that it has been implemented too fast without proper training and funding. Usually from my understanding it takes 5 years for a State to develop and implement Standards.The PARCC testing is a separate issue which again needs to be sorted out at the State level.

5. The Southern Poverty Law Center has an excellent document about how the far right uses Common Core as propaganda. See Link Below...

6. Teacher for America is not the answer either. TFA teachers have undergrad degrees in a subject area and then go through Teach For America's 5 week training program to become a teacher. I am sure there are some wonderful teachers who come out of the program, however, TFA also has a high turnover rate. Most experienced teachers have received 4 year undergraduate Education degrees from Schools of Education. In addition, teachers who wish to teach Special Education, must obtain a specialized endorsement in Special Education, teachers are required to take additional coarse work specializing in Teaching Methods for Students with Special Needs. In Methods Classes, teachers learn techniques to enhance teaching skills, manage a classroom and educate children.

7. In regards to anything to do with Education, personally, I'd much rather listen to experience Educators than listen to the rants of Glenn Beck, or anyone associated with Teach for America. Gloria Johnson, who was an educator AND is a TN Representative from Knoxville (Democrat) is someone who knows what it takes to be a teacher. She is an excellent resource for Public Education in TN. Follow her FB page. Everything she says about Education makes practical sense. Even though she is not in our voting area, she is someone to watch and listen to it comes to Public Education in Tennessee. 

8. Williamson County Schools is fortunate to have an excellent Superintendent who is experienced educator . Dr, Looney, cannot please all of the people all of the time. As a new parent to WCS , I am impressed with Dr. Looney's work ethic and dedication to Public Education.

If you have any questions or thoughts to add about Public Education or any corrections about the information presented above, please feel free to comment. Knowledge is Power.http://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/publication/public_schools_in_the_crosshairs.pdf

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