Nobody cares about this: Has it really been eight years since the Common Core State Standards became "a hot trend?"
So says Jay Mathews in his weekly education column for the Washington Post. Mathews is describing a new report on the way the Common Core has changed, or failed to change, various classroom behaviors.
Mathews is the rarest of all known birds—the long-term education reporter. As we've noted in the past, we share the old school system tie. We went to Aragon, he to our rival school Hillsdale, at the same point in time.
(We had Bob Bazell, the future NBC science reporter. NAME WITHHELD's parents made him go to Serra.)
Mathews reports today on the Common Core, surely knowing that nobody cares. You see, the Common Core isn't The Chase, and that's the sole topic of interest within the fraternal/sororal order we still describe as a "press corps."
The Chase lets the children gossip about an exciting true crime drama; plus, it offers the hope of putting despised people in jail. Public schools affect tens of millions of children, but who give a fig about them? Our pundit corps can;t even focus on what the Trump Admin did at the southern border! They want their tales of The Chase up straight, with no distractions.
Continuing to work in his garden, Mathews starts like this:
MATHEWS (7/30/18): When I try to learn more about schools, I often feel as if I am struggling to get inside a black box—the mysterious classroom. I can get data on what goes into the box, such as the backgrounds of teachers and students. I can measure what comes out of the box—test scores, graduation rates and student work.Jay has been "trying to learn more about schools" for the past many years. We love his basic demeanor because it's so different from ours.
But what happens inside the classroom is hard to quantify.
This is particularly true of the major educational reform of this era, the Common Core State Standards. The project of the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers was designed to use research results to remake K-12 teaching. It recommended more lessons about the real world, more nonfiction reading and writing, and more unified math instruction.
How has this changed what is actually going on in the classroom? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has given us answers with a survey of 1,237 teachers in fourth through 10th grades: “Reading and Writing Instruction in America’s Schools.”
(He was a native Californian. We were shipped in from the east.)
Today, Jay is reporting on a report about the Common Core. In the next few days, we'll try to stare into the face of the total indifference and discuss what he has said.
It has also been two weeks since David Leonhardt's first column in the New York Times about the New Orleans schools. Over the course of the next few days, we'll try to return to what Leonhardt said in spite of the total indifference.
Truthfully, though, nobody cares! That's the ultimate secret about our failing society, and of course about our "press corps" and the rise of Donald J. Trump.