Sunday, April 20, 2014

Follow the Money

My weekly post at DaTechGuy's blog is up and concerns the nonsense that is Common Core and Lexile levels.

Check it out.

The New Republic had a great article on Lexile levels back in October and I have been wrestling with the issue personally since they ripped To Kill a Mockingbird from my cold, hard fingers.  It's now been relegated to ninth grade.

Of course the whole issue with me centers not so much around Mockingbird (although I'm very bitter about losing it), but about the stripping of the decision making process from the individual teacher, the department head, the principal, the district supervisor, the local superintendent, and the state.  Of course we've always had designated reading lists from which to choose our novels that we teach, but we always had more input into what was on that list and more flexibility.  We've always known To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, was read in lower levels, but in upper levels we have been able to explore deeper themes and symbolism and to bring in related texts to support more rigor with the book.

Common Core strips that away.

Julius Caesar, for example, is gone; Macbeth is the new tenth grade Shakespeare play and it's non-negotiable.

It's the same old drum; I've beat this one before but I am a bitter-clinger and refuse to let it go.

Why doesn't it bother more people that the education system is now driven by the Gates Foundation and other big money trails?

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