Is a given lesson worth teaching? I may not always be sure of the answer, but I'm pretty sure that's the question we should be asking, rather than employing discipline, or demanding self-discipline, or pulling stuff off the walls in hopes that students will devote their attention to something whose value is simply taken for granted.
Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards. And those concerns are well-placed.
In a recent New York state public forum about the Common Core with Education Commissioner John King and state Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch in Manhattan, the room was rife with rancor, as it had been in previous forums all over the state. Late in the evening, when it finally came my turn to speak, I sought to enliven the soporific atmosphere with a surprising declaration. Along with the rest of the shills for corporate education, I announced, Commissioner King and Chancellor Tisch should be arrested on several counts
Will the powers-that-be continue to be more concerned with creating a testing and data system that ranks and sorts schools and educators, in the quest for the perfect industrial algorithm to judge teachers, students and schools? Or will they look at the evidence and join educators, students and parents in fighting to reclaim the promise of public education?