Raising the Common Core Bar Until Nobody Can Get Over – Teacher in a Strange Land – Education Week Teacher

By Nancy Flanagan

The legislature in my home state is currently on a roll. They’re planning to systematically destroy the largest public school system in Michigan, once a landmark district, drain it of resources, and make it super-easy for predatory, for-profit charters to move in. Plus other ultra-important stuff like preventing municipalities from banning plastic shopping bags, and keeping open-carry laws as open as possible.
And, of course, getting rid of Common Core State Standards.
I’m no advocate for the Common Core (although the thought of abandoning all the CCSS alignment work and pricey professional training teachers have been dragged through makes me shake my head). But here’s the funny thing: the Michigan House wants to adopt the old Massachusetts State Standards–the ones MA abandoned when they adopted…the Common Core.”

The Common Core is just another set of standards. We can raise and lower, tweak and replace standards until the cows come home, but until other things are in place (clean, safe classrooms, say–or books, supplies and experienced teachers), it’s an exercise in blah-blah over reality. Most important: if we’re going to dump everything we’ve been working on, let’s put the rebuilding back in the hands of educators, not politicians.

To read Nancy’s full blog post go here: Raising the Common Core Bar Until Nobody Can Get Over – Teacher in a Strange Land – Education Week Teacher

Nancy Flanagan is an education writer and consultant focusing on teacher leadership. She spent 30 years in a K-12 music classroom in Hartland, Mich, and was named Michigan Teacher of the Year in 1993. She is National Board-certified, and a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. She welcomes feedback on her sharp-eyed perspectives on the inconsistencies and inspirations, the incomprehensible, immoral and imaginative, in American education. She is a digital organizer for IDEA (Institute for Democratic Education in America). You can follow her on Twitter @nancyflanagan.


CURMUDGUCATION blog: Florida Teacher Purge (or, Why Schools Need Tenure, Pt. 23,617)

Palm Beach Lakes High School in Florida has some problems, and now it would like to get rid of thirty teachers for offenses ranging from standing up for students to union activity.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Teacher Purge (or, Why Schools Needs Tenure, Pt. 23,617)

Effects of School Choice: Holland, Michigan

Is it OK that school choice allows parents to create segregated schools? At what point in time do their children learn to live with people who look different from themselves? Is this the kind of America we want?

Education Under Attack


While visiting my mother-in-law she gave me an article titled ‘Urban district, suburban community’ from the March 23, 2016 Holland Sentinel newspaper.  The article focused on the long-term effects of school choice on the Holland Public Schools.

The lead sentence of the article stated rather straightforwardly, “State policies that promote school choice have fueled a changing demographic landscape for many of Michigan’s public schools.”  The article goes on to say that 1,600 students (over 30%) within the Holland Public Schools’ boundaries have used the state’s 20 year Schools of Choice law to attend charter schools or go to neighboring school districts.

What caught my eye was the reporter’s assertion that as a result of school choice, the district “doesn’t represent the town in which it operates” and that Holland has become “a fragmented community that prolongs stereotypes.”  The numbers show the demographic differences between the city and school district:

Holland                 …

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