Stop Insulting Parents & Families!

Common Core is Not the Problem (Lack of Accountability is the Culprit)
As a parent, I am insulted by the status quos continued disbursement of misinformation to parents and guardians of children as it relates to Common Core also known as College and/or Career Ready Standards. Why do I say this? 1. The current education system better known as the status quo system is a fiscal and personnel unaccountable system. This lack of accountability occurs at all levels of government, local, state and federal and even in our homes and communities. So can we really blame today’s Common Core standards for our antiquated, fundamentally unaccountable educational system? 2. Before Common Core was “born”, education decision-makers have and continue to pour tax payers investment (funding) into public schools whether they effectively perform or not 3. Before common Core was “born”, the status quo has not and continues to not educate all children equitably because of race, socio-economic status and/or zip-code. 3. Before Common Core was “born”, the status quo has and continues to pour money into educational programs that do not have oversight nor do educational decision makers expect and demand positive student outcomes yet our leaders continue to fund them. 4. While I do not agree with over “testing”, testing is a relevant tool to measure knowledge of foundational content being taught to children. It goes without saying that critical, process and analytical thinking instruction should also be taught in school and out of school. 5. Before Common Core was “born”, our current educational system has and continues to hire and retain non effective staff with benefits and under qualified over paid consultants even though student outcomes show that the service being provided is NOT effective enough to meet the academic needs of the students. Some educators and administrators continue to have such low expectations of Black, Brown and poor children. So much so, that they social promote children and graduate functioning illiterates and then blame the students, parents & poverty for the academic failings of many children.

Examples: Educators have the most direct influence over student learning in the classroom therefore if an educator was hired to teach biology but is not knowledgeable in Biology how do you hold a student accountable for your short coming. A student cannot learn what you do not know how to teach. As for administrators, you have the greatest indirect influence in the classroom and you are the commander of your ship (school) and if you don’t have effective people and leadership skills, or if you don’t know what a culturally responsive, nurturing and welcoming school environment is suppose to look and feel like then you need to find another job! Teachers need to be listened to, valued, held accountable and supported, Students need to be listened to, valued, held accountable and supported, and parents/families need to be to be listened to, valued, held accountable and supported. These are some of the skills administrators need to have. In closing, I did not forget the importance of holding parents, family and the community accountable for student success as well. The challenge for us is the absolute fact that educational decision makers continue to forget that the students that attend public schools and sit in the classrooms come from homes and the community. You continue to exclude us from the critical conversations and action steps needed to improve academic and life experiences for our children but you easily blame us for the shortcomings that occur within public schools. The irony of it all is parents do not have the power to even choose the toilet paper that is in the school restrooms. So before we can effectively implement the Common Core standards which expose America’s children to equitable high standards of learning, we must ensure we have an educational fiscal accountability system in place that is centered around the student and protects the taxpayer’s investment into the education system, for real and not in theory!

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