Friday, January 3, 2014

Debate: When Common Core is Attacked from the right, does the left form coalitions?

To me this, this about coalition building around individual issues as opposed to finding completely like-minded folks. I have experienced a couple of folks who to me, are extreme in our "camp."  I have also worked with folks whose understanding of the world is quite different than mine.  Through dialogue, we find areas of agreement and areas where we can mutually support each other.  We steer clear of topics that we know, ahead of time, we are going to vehemently disagree on.  Occasionally, we offend each other, but we do not take it personally.  This battle is about making schools better for all of our kids.  We know, from the get go, that if we are talking about how to fix other common problems such as social and economic injustice, we will vehemently disagree.  We respectfully agree to disagree and avoid having to discuss the issues.  We understand that at other times, we will oppose each other. Sometimes, I just know that in this particular setting, I need to edit what I say.  It's politics... and it's my approach to managing it.  Ultimately, it is hard to name call right to my face.  I'm o.k. with being called a communist, too.  Hell, I might actually be one. In the end, I think we can help each other with this particular battle... JM on finding common ground on common core with voices from the right, Change the Stakes listserve
From what I can tell from social media, the folks and groups rallying behind the action are pretty broad based. If that's the case, I'd be comfortable more with it. But as several people have pointed out, there are some good reasons to be very cautious, in general, about collaborating with ring-wing anti-CC groups... NC, CTS
Oh, what to do. We received this at Change the Stakes:
The Facebook group stop common core in NYS are planning a rally across NYS on Monday 4pm to 6pm in Rockefeller Center at WNEP newsroom to protest Common Core and coincide with governors State of the state address. It's seems that the Facebook group has a large LI and Upstate following.

Inline image 1
The Chancellor, Mulgrew, and AFT support CC. We need people power there to make this man listen. Hope you can make it.

On the Stop Common Core site  - http://www.stopcommoncoreny.com - there are pretty straightforward exposures of the common core with a major theme that it removes local control and federalizes education -- a liberal supported trend for 60 years. Today it looks more like a neo-liberal trend towards privatizing. But then I ran across this linking to another web site>
Mon Dec 30 2013 at 8:20 pm +0000
One group in the New York anti-Core groups is led by a former Domestic terrorist and a friend or former friend to Bill Ayers – Mark Naison. Naison was a member of the violent Weather Underground in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s Communists In the NY Anti-Common Core Movement |
Here is the full article:
Shit - I've met Bill Ayers and like him and many of his ideas. And I know Mark Naison. I think the very same conversations taking place on the left and the right, with some saying "hell no I ain't working with those people" and others looking for dialogue. That is what fascinates me about this conversation.

Thus began an interesting internal debate today on CTS. Here is a selection at this point with I am sure more to come (which I will add to this as an update). And by the way--- I keep flipping both ways, as I so often do. I usually come down on the side of the last person I speak to. But since I am getting deep in the weeds of CCSS with the MORE committee I think I will be much clearer on whether to hang with Glenn Beck and Mark Naison to fight the same battle -- but then again is that really the same battle? My hair is beginning to hurt.
LN:
I did notice that their reasons for opposing CC were mostly about the government imposing standards and nothing about developmental inappropriate teaching and learning.

RS:
When I testified at a hearing about Common Core, I was quite disturbed by the man behind me who kept saying "this is all from Obama the communist." I realized then that we share a cause with people who have a very different agenda. While I think we need to try to work with others, I believe we need to be very careful. Some people have forgotten Brown v. Board of Education and the crucial role the federal government plays in some respects.

JM:
To me this, this about coalition building around individual issues as opposed to finding completely like-minded folks. I have experienced a couple of folks who to me, are extreme in our "camp."  I have also worked with folks whose understanding of the world is quite different than mine.  Through dialogue, we find areas of agreement and areas where we can mutually support each other.  We steer clear of topics that we know, ahead of time, we are going to vehemently disagree on.  Occasionally, we offend each other, but we do not take it personally.  This battle is about making schools better for all of our kids.  We know, from the get go, that if we are talking about how to fix other common problems such as social and economic injustice, we will vehemently disagree.  We respectfully agree to disagree and avoid having to discuss the issues.  We understand that at other times, we will oppose each other. Sometimes, I just know that in this particular setting, I need to edit what I say.  It's politics... and it's my approach to managing it.  Ultimately, it is hard to name call right to my face.  I'm o.k. with being called a communist, too.  Hell, I might actually be one. In the end, I think we can help each other with this particular battle.

DZ:
So glad you put it out there Jean. I was going to respond to the 'depth' comment because I actually think otherwise. We cannot be divided in the eyes of Power as is the case of Cuomo and the State, because that's exactly what they want to see. It's about Points of Unity and how we can connect our struggles regardless of our political and philosophical views. I have friends who are ultra religious and send me cards with the word 'Lord' all over and they say they pray for me, etc. I don't mind it because I feel there is something else that brings me together and anchors the friendship. I also have friends who differ with me politically (ok not many) but they may not share my views completely, and this is true even in my education views (as is the case with my ex), but we manage to find that place we both agree. In the case of historical events, the North and South both viewed Slavery and African Americans differently for their own reasons, but it was more important to keep the States united and Lincoln saw this when he delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Being divided and looking into groups 'motivations' and 'philosophical/political' inclinations doesn't serve the Movement. Let's stay focused and build the movement of different stripes and voices.

JN:
I'm hardly a Catholic, but I was impressed by the Catholic educators' letter to the nation's bishops attacking CCSS as a force for intellectual and spiritual mediocrity. And I now understand the feelings of tea party folks: I too hold the view that in an arena of life I care deeply about, our children's education, federal bureaucrats have violated our rights with destructive, ignorant initiatives they should never have had the power to enact.

I will agree or disagree with individuals and groups on an issue-by-issue basis, and maintain an open mind to persuasive argument. On that basis I think we at CTS (which after all as Jean points out is itself a collection of individuals with diverse views) should seek to build as broad a consensus as possible around the goal of putting educators, parents and local communities back in control of education.

PD:
As I read the comments back and forth, the more I tend to agree with collaboration. Our government and political leaders have so damaged our educational system, both public, religious and private. Yes Diana, the powers that be want to divide us. Let's fight together for our COMMON cause, a just education for our nation's children, respect for their educators and control put back into the hands of parents and local communities as well as the equality of resources to educate all in the best ways possible.

FS:
This is a fascinating discussion that has me wavering. I believe it is necessary to have dissent, honest differences and diverse views rather than the discomfort I feel when everyone speaks with one voice. [Compare the Brooklyn and Manhattan forum.] But my question vis a vis folks on the other side (right wing?) is this: Are "them" as willing to listen to us and respect what we have to say?

DZ:
My feeling is that it's not about dissent (as in the CC forums where the room was totally divided), but about finding spots we share and growing our collective voice and power to bring on changes. We also don't measure our actions in relations to "theirs", we do our thing because we believe it. And to point out, "they've" been interested in inviting us to their actions and I don't know that we've done the same.

NC:
I'm trying to find out a bit more about who all is behind the Jan 6 rally. From what I can tell from social media, the folks and groups rallying behind the action are pretty broad based. If that's the case, I'd be comfortable more with it. But as several people have pointed out, there are some good reasons to be very cautious, in general, about collaborating with ring-wing anti-CC groups. In my view, CtS has far more in common with parents who support CC because they want high standards for their kids but who also oppose HST than right-wingers who oppose CC because they don't want the feds -- Obama in particular -- interfering with their schools. Would love to know how many of these folks opposed HST under Bush's NCLB.
RS:
My fear is that some of those who want to fight the apparatus of ed reform also want to be allowed to have segregated schools, ban books presenting alternative lifestyles----at what point do we say no? I don't think localities should have total control, the federal government needs to control civil rights issues. Girls should be allowed to play football. This is very complicated, but I believe that these wrestlings are part of any growing movement, and I am grateful that this is a growing movement.


A post by Carol Burris on Valerie Strauss' Answer Sheet about the inBloom data dump had this comment:
Jimmy Kilpatrick
Liberals love this. Considering they think the feds have all the answer to all the problems this should solidify their arrogance. Texas has been using the PIEMS for years. I can see how the likes of a Hilter/Obama have gotten into office. Regarding when the public sits the politicos have a field day.
As if Obama is really in charge of all this and not merely the instrument. I get crazed with Obama is called a socialist or Hitler when he is a neo-liberal free marketeer -- see one Affordable Care Act - designed to make sure insurance and drug companies get their cut. (For those of you who think we REALLY wanted single payer, find me one statement from him.)


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).