---- from Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
A common curriculum has been developed and is about to be implemented across the nation. Currently 45 states subscribe to this concept. Is this an educational innovation or educational Armageddon?
Critics say that the process for creating the new K-12 curriculum standards involved very little research, public comment, or even input from educators. In fact, of the 135 people on the committees that came up with these standards, none of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional.
Stephanie Feeney of the University of Hawaii, chair of the Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators was shocked when the standards were first revealed in March 2010. She said, "the people who wrote these standards do not appear to have any background in child development or early childhood education.”
This has been the problem with educational standards all along. They are rarely written by real classroom teachers and often represent the ideas that government and business leaders have about what makes a good, productive, compliant worker. Big businesses have invested billions of dollars in schools to bring such curriculum to students who they see as merely future workers.
You hear these people constantly talking about how we need a stronger science and math curriculum to compete. Well, what about developing passion, creativity, and the very things that spark innovation and progress? Einstein was a lousy student. Isacc Newton was a sickly child and unremarkable student who created calculus before he was 22 as he was pondering the forces that kept the Moon in orbit. He defined gravity for us. It is unlikely that any of the discoveries that have formed our view of the universe would have been uncovered if children of those ages had been subject to the Common Core!
In my speed reading classes, I see the results of decades of lackluster public instruction. Every day, thousands of people around the nation (and developed world) are reading and rereading books are articles, losing their place, getting sleepy, and not remembering what they read. Half of all students drop out because they can't keep up.
Reading instruction in US public schools is a complete failure, yet schools refuse to embrace progressive ideas that could turn it all around.
As a result of lackluster reading skills taught with methods that have been proven ineffective in creating good readers, students become frustrated, depressed, and associate learning with stress and anger. They make life changing decisions about themselves that affect their careers, their personal lives, and ultimately, their ability to be happy.
When you think about it, it is madness, really.
Millions of people have been taught to speed read. I have personally taught thousands. It is absolutely possible to read and remember thousands of words per minute in your reading instead of reading a pathetic 100 - 300 words per minute that is the top speed of most people. They read and reread, but can't remember.
Why? It is because they are being taught that if you go slower you remember more. Yet the truth is actually the exact opposite of that. The faster you read, the more you naturally remember!
John Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year and now an anti-mass education advocate, would likely think that the issues I have with the Common Core were included by design.
Teachers need to be given the freedom to use their skills and gifts to craft an appropriate learning journey.