I have to admit, you really have to love that California weather. I just got back from a couple of weeks in the Golden State and it gave me a much needed rest and some new perspectives.We hardly saw any bumper stickers in California - it almost seems like they're not into this whole culture war thing. Young people I talked to from San Francisco won't touch the public schools with a ten foot pole- they're going to send their children to charter schools. Why is Montana so backward? We don't even have the charter school option here. California, one of the most liberal states in the country, if not the most liberal, has beat the union and Montana can't. This is a sad state of affairs for Montana parents.
As we walked along the pier in San Francisco I thought about the Embarcadero. This freeway overpass was destroyed in the earthquake (1989). The whole pier area was a slum before the earthquake destroyed that freeway overpass. When the overpass came down businesses started moving into the area. Now it's a fun and beautiful high rent area with shops and restaurants. Who knew? Without the earthquake this area would probably still be a slum. School reform advocates like to pretend they have a corner on knowledge about the future. They don't know the future. They just want to make the future what they want it to be for all the rest of us. Like the earthquake, the future will happen as they talk and they won't know anything more about it than anyone else.
Louisiana had a hurricane. The hurricane destroyed most of the public schools in New Orleans so they were forced to go to a charter concept temporarily. When reconstruction took place, the parents, who realized their children were doing a whole lot better in the charter schools than they ever did in the public schools, demanded to keep the charter schools. Louisiana just passed a voucher program that gives all students access to private and charter education. Who could have predicted a hurricane and what it would bring? Will it take a natural disaster to provide REAL school reform in Montana?
Phyllis Schlaffley who has been in the culture wars since time began says that any time someone starts talking about school reform in public education what they really want to do is to change values. Phyllis is right. I have never seen such a shameless attempt to use children for political activism as I have seen since "Goals 2000" happened under the Clinton's in the 90's. I can't think of one lobby from arts to homosexuality which is not now represented in our schools. Children are collecting food for food share, wearing pink T- shirts, doing artists in residency, gardening (environmentalists don't like trucking in produce), advocating for their school endangered species, and learning about anal sex in 5th grade, and that's just a few examples. They are also being taught collectivist redistributive values instead of the
strong values of the rugged individual. Every lesson is supposed to encourage "collaboration", there is very little value put on, or encouragement for, independent work and thought.
The new Common Core Standards are supposed to have the answer to success in education for the WORLD. I have to wonder why the National Math and Science foundation is still doing research on how best to teach math- I thought David Coleman and his buddies already had all that figured out and that was why all the states are having to pony up billions and turn their schools and teachers inside out for this new miracle curriculum!! Do you think maybe David doesn't really have all the answers in this curriculum he turned out at warp speed for the Obama administration?
The Common Core people now have their super star advocates like Jeb Bush (they needed at least one Republican) and Exxon. Do you think these people know any more about education than Bill Gates who funded it? Of course they don't, none of them know education, and apparently they are too ignorant to realize they don't know what they're advocating for. The one worlders are no better than the socialists/liberals/progressives. They want centralized power. Jeb says each state can implement the Core Standards the way they want, but Jeb better catch up on his reading, Common Core is advertised to not only tell schools what to teach ,but how to teach it, and brags about every school in the country being exactly the same"every place in the world will be teaching the same things at the same time so students who move will not have to make any adjustments."!!!
Do you think centralized curriculums will work any better than centralized economies? NO!! Childhood goes by in a Nano second and our students don't have the time for all this nonsense. They're losing their education while these one worlders and socialists/liberals/ progressives work their politics. The best education will happen locally. Competition will allow parents to choose the best schools and eliminate those that don't work. America is the shining example of how free markets are SO SUPERIOR, OBVIOUSLY!! Free markets will work in schools too. Maybe California and I have something in common, I'm just working to get some sunshine on the subject!