Thursday, January 2, 2014

Katie Lapham's Speech at John King's Common Core Brooklyn Forum

Katie was first on line ahead of the Student First/E4E astroturf crew that dominated the meeting after her, praising the CCSS to the sky. You know I find it funny. From the day I began to teach in 1967 the NY State standards seemed fine. In fact, the problem we had in high poverty area schools was getting anywhere near these standards. NY State had some of the highest standards in the world pre-CCSS. With the logic that raising standards will make for better results why not just make differential calculus the standard in pre-k?

Katie sent this to the MORE CCSS Committee:
Here's a copy of my speech given at John King's Common Core forum in Brooklyn. http://criticalclassrooms.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/testifying-at-john-kings-common-core-forum-in-brooklyn-121013/

It includes links to the sources I used. My goal  - in 2 minutes - was to call into question the legitimacy of the Common Core and to argue that the CCSS aren't the solution to closing the achievement gap. 
Here is the Gotham Schools report of the meeting where people carried signs saying, "Low Expectations." Did they ever take a look at the pre-CCSS NY State standards?

Afterburn
Why can't I walk away from activism in a group like MORE even a dozen years after retirement? Finding smart people like Katie Lapham getting involved and in fact joining the MORE steering committee after a relatively short time with MORE.

I find that anti-Unity people want a group like MORE to do anything it takes to overthrow Unity. Not. We would not want the "new boss, same as the old boss" syndrome. So trying to set up democratic structures from the very beginning is essential. That is fairly easy in a smallish group. If MORE takes off and gathers a gaggle of members with diverging points of view, staying on that track gets tougher. I'm often a glass half full kind of guy so until I see that happen I am not worrying about it.

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