Friday, August 23, 2013

Common Bore Hysteria: Branding Common Core as Right Wing Conspiracy While Ignoring the Left

I have read the Times consistently my entire adult life and I do not recall a single instance in which two writers [Bill Keller, Paul Krugman] wrote essentially the same article two days in a row on the same subject... Raging Horse
Port Jefferson rally last Sat.
Our pal, Raging Horse (another great MORE member blogger) has followed up other great bloggers on the NY Times hysteria over defending CC (New York Times Editorials Reveal A Complete Ignorance of Common Core).
...two days after a sizable anti-Common Core rally in suburban Port Jefferson, Long Island, the venerable New York Times saw fit to publish not one but two editorials in two days, not merely praising the Common Core State Standards, but attempting to reduce almost all criticism of it to right wing nut jobs like Glenn Beck and the Tea Party. To make matters worse, the editorials were written by Times heavy hitters Bill Keller and, sadly, Paul Krugman. Both articles reveal Keller and Krugman to be completely ignorant of both the Common Core Standards themselves, their genesis, as well as to the ever widening and deepening political opposition to the entire billion-dollar Common Core campaign.
Boy that Port Jefferson rally is scaring the b-Jesus out of the
deformers, as it the general revolt on Long Island, including the Supe in Rockville Center (Carol Burris' turf). Deformers (Diane Ravitch's blog
A Hero Superintendent in Long Island Says: “To Hell with These Scores. They Do Not Matter” -) are using "Glenn Beck hysteria" to try to scare the left into jumping on board. And anti-common core Lawn Signs urging parent to opt-out? Holy shit! We - teachers and parents and anyone who gets what ed deform is all about -- need to play a role in making a massive opt-out movement happen. (Change the Stakes will be leading the way -- next meeting is Tues, 5:30.) If I were running the union I would print a million of these things and blanket the state.

But instead we get this: Mulgrew "Frightened" By Opposition To Common Core with this comment by RBE:
Why should a debate over Common Core frighten you, Mike? Oh, right - I remember now. You head the UFT, an organization which eschews debate, shuts down opposition within the ranks and otherwise works to quell anything and anybody that isn't AFT- and UFT-leadership approved. Well, get ready for a frightful year, Mikey. ... APPR and Common Core are your babies. You were, God help us all, in at the conception of both. 
(Can someone photoshop Randi and Mulgrew as parents giving birth to CC and APPR?)

If one tracks back opposition to the CC it is clear that the uprising came from the left, not the right, which came late to the issue. Witness Susan Ohanian's campaign from DAY 1 years ago. And Leonie Haimson. And I remember when in the initial stages Diane Ravitch took a neutral "wait and see" attitude to study the issue before moving firmly into the "left" wing of opponents.

Ed Notes too took an early stand against CC not because I did any studying or thinking deeply but because of the groups and individuals who were humping it: Duncan/Obama, Gates, Randi, Walcott -- you know when the union and Tweed push something with a heavy hand it is time to run.

(Sorry I don't have the time to find links to the above -- I need to spend time on my deck contemplating my backyard while watching things grow (or try to). Every individual plant needs some cheer leading. And we are also doing some Fringe Festival plays over the last few days.)

Back to business. Right wing states are pulling the plug on support for the CC while the left rallies parents to start opting out -- deny the beast as Karen Lewis told us in Chicago two weeks ago (video will be up this weekend.)

I did a mid-term summary of the bloggers on the issue when Krugman spoke: Jumping All Over Paul Krugman on Common Core

And NYC Educator jumps in with a 3rd NY Times columnist: Charles M. Blow Joins NY Times Common Core Lovefest.
It looks like, in the space of a week, three NY Times columnists have come out swinging in favor of the Common Core. The latest is Charles M. Blow, who I'd previously found thoughtful and worthwhile. His opening salvo informs us we are not keeping up with other countries, yet our lower test scores align precisely with our disgraceful higher poverty levels. 
Back to Raging Horse:
by insinuating that most opposition to the CCSS derives from the far right, the articles are simultaneously an insult to the hundreds of thousands of educators from coast to coast who distrust or even loathe the Common Core and all that it stands for — particularly the very real fear that intrinsically related high stakes testing combined with junk science testing will lead to their termination — as well as to leading education scholars and activists such as Diane Ravitch, Lois Wiener, Gary Rubinstein, Leonie Haimson, Arthur Goldstein, Carol Burris, Anthony Cody, and Susan O’Hanian, to name but a few. Both Keller and Krugman seem oblivious to them all.
For his sake, I hope Krugman, always the most prescient and intrepid of the Times scribes, was drunk when he wrote it so that he might be excused for employing such extravagant or even silly language such as “ entirely praiseworthy” to describe a subject he clearly knows absolutely nothing about. 

Read all of it here.

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