Why the Haters Hate: CCSS Edition

The more I analyze the contentions of those advocating for no common standards, the more I’m convinced of two important truths. Those who rationally oppose typically do so because:

  1. They didn’t play a role in creating the standards and would, therefore, have them shift.
  2. They misunderstand, resist, or ignore the critical role schools play in credentialing.

Regardless of motive, many so-called haters often land at the point of irrationality, embracing theories of conspiracy, with dreams for the day when school means little more than the feel of play-doh while dancing to the aroma of old-fashioned paste.

Long live 1984?

Essential School Supply

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  • NYGal80

    That’s it?

    • That’s my take and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

      What additional reasons have I missed?

  • Audrey Hill

    Oh… let’s see…maybe it’s the simplistic and literal notion that sooner standards are identical with higher ones. Why again is it important for a 1st grader to learn about Mesopotamia and master words like ziggurat? Is that what six year olds need to be college and career ready? Is it possible that 1st graders might benefit from learning a little more about their own communities before tackling a cradle of civilization?

    Or is it the over emphasis on non fiction (yes, we know…. they actually meant all the non fiction combined from English and the other as yet untested subjects). Nonetheless, those who can’t afford Philips Exeter, Dalton, Sidwell etc. will still miss out on the extraordinary learning about life and language that comes from great works of literature. But no matter. They’ll be doing more important things like getting ready for real life which, in the new paradigm, will be lives of mostly doing things they don’t want to do. It is important to teach them early and often to tolerate anxiety, fear of failure, disinterest, overwork and doing… without passion. It’s what they’ll do for life, but we’ll call it grit and raise them on a meatless diet of ambiguous multiple choice questions that require them to parse their texts like legal briefs.

    As for having a role in building standards…I’d be happy if there was a built in process for revision. Only the most arrogant and bullheaded people think that their out of the box ideas are so well considered that no revision or revisiting is necessary. And, I’d be a lot less insulted if they’d stop calling CCSS a shift. David Coleman didn’t create argumentation or deep reading. I hear people all the time talking about argumentation like it was just invented. I was teaching elements of classical rhetoric and logical fallacy 10 years ago… in an ordinary suburban middle school. None of the standards that I’ve read in subject area of English are new to me or new to my students.The only new thing is the time suck of state testing and the horrendous impact it has had on curriculum and school culture.

    On a last note, it would also be nice if young ambition would stop insulting master teachers with the utterly stupid assumption that critique of CCSS, and the testing that means to go along with it, is just nostalgia for fingerpainting. And here’s another thing not invented yesterday… preparing children for next steps… which, as we know is not really about credentialing. Credentials are important, but it’s the distractor not the answer in this case; there’s something even more important … building the ground of an individual so that they can have choices.. a credential is important for certain choices, but it is not identical with choice or with being a critical thinker or educated consumer of information. Let’s teach that skill which teaches us all.

    • Audrey,

      Great comment. You’ve very eloquently placed yourself within both of my categories. I also love your recommendation to periodically revise the standards, and think increased transparency about the when and who behind revisions would be a very good thing.
      With regard to your back-handed insult, is age a requirement for being a master teacher?