Monday, June 16, 2014

A Texan blogging through the Common Core

Hold on to your seats, because this blog is about to get SUPER BORING. Not really. I mean, I hope not? But let’s be real. This is me! When am I ever boring? (just kidding. I hope?) 
I have said it before, but for those of you who aren’t from these parts, Texas doesn’t do the Common Core Standards. When it comes to education, we mostly just shoot guns in the air and yell about fighting COMMUNISM! And then seceding. And stuff. Basically. (not really) So I get really curious when people on both sides freak out about the Common Core (even though I'm pretty sure most people don't even know the difference is between curriculum standards and a curriculum). I pretty much assume neither side has actually read the standards. And when Texans flip out about them, I’m about 100% sure they’ve never done a side-by-side comparison. Also, lately I’ve just been more curious about the details of some of my own state’s standards (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS) because Hannah would be starting Kindergarten this fall, but she didn’t get induced in time. So I’m going to be working on the Kinder TEKS with her at home. My point is, I will be blogging through the Common Core ("CC" when I’m lazy) standards.

First off, as with the TEKS, decisions about how to implementing the CC standards are made at the local level. So generally, anger about the “common core makes me do this worksheet!/take this test!" is misguided. That is usually something your teacher or principal is implementing at his or her own discretion. But there is definitely a gray area in standards, IMHO. And I’ll be pointing out when the standards seem to be getting into the fuzzy space between “what” kids learn and “how” kids are to learn it. 

Second, I will be looking really closely at whether the CC is trying to make kids gay or turn them in to communists, socialists, or terrorists. Spoiler alert, no I won’t. that is just straight-up stupid. If you think that is a legitimate threat, kindly set yourself on fire. But I will be providing an overall summary of CC versus the TEKS. And at the beginning of each posts, I'll include a summary comparison and below that a standard by standard comparison (if I found a comparable TEKS standard) and I'll determine a winner.  (just kidding, except not really.) But you’ll be shocked/not shocked to see how similar they are.
Finally, If I can provide any relevant research (e.g., developmental psychology studies) to shed some light on any standards-related controversies, I’ll try to include those. I’ll let you guys know in the summary to be on the look out for interesting standards to check out. Because I feel like most people won’t read the whole comparison. There are so many standards, you guys. And I get it, you have a short attention spans.
Enjoy! Or don’t. Whatever.

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