The more and more I see how the education “reform” movement is operating, the more it makes me ill. I wish I were exaggerating with that statement, but I’m not. Every time I hear about some millionaire telling us to increase class sizes, or some high-paid wannabe teacher tells us that teachers are the problem with America, it makes me want to vomit. I get sick because these are people who pretend to care about kids, with fancy names like StudentsFirst. But they don’t care about our kids. Not at all. These are people who are so addicted to their own ideas and bravado, that they can’t see past their own images on TV.
Teachers know this, and so do many parents and education experts. And the more I learned, the more I realized that the only way to truly get this to turn around and to make it about kids and their futures is to try to tell more and more parents and teachers and lawmakers–and whoever else will listen–that they are being lied to. They are being led by false promises and false ideas. The Common Core State Standards are not going to get our kids ready for life. Race to the Top is not going to narrow the achievement gap. Michelle Rhee has no idea what she’s talking about. And Bill Gates wants your kid to know how to take tests on a computer in a classroom with 70 other kids.
The news doesn’t tell us this. The media echoes the messages of the ones who are hellbent on hurting our kids for the sake of a profit and a compliant future workforce. Thank goodness for the hundreds of education bloggers, authors, and speakers who work diligently to get the word out there. But, the main group that can turn this around is the huge number of parents who trust their kids to these failing policies. And they don’t usually read blogs like many teacher-activists do.
I wrote Children of the Core to try to present the threat in a “non-jargonistic” way that speaks to parents. One of the best ways to do that is to let the kids speak for themselves. I also hope that I gave parents enough information to start the discussion, find new information, join groups to amplify their voices, and engage the United States education system with a parent uprising that will grow.
I speak to the children of the Core almost every day. It’s heartbreaking and it’s dangerous. Thank you to those who helped me through this project. And thank you for reading this book. It’s my first, so I invite all honest feedback. I will take every rating to heart as I work on my next project.
Here’s to a bright future for our kids. Here’s to the end of corporate education reform and the Common Core State Standards.
Children of the Core is currently available in paperback and Kindle versions. I am working on an Apple version.