Saturday, November 16, 2013

Viral Video of High School Student Blasting Common Core Standards

I really want to like this.  I really do.  I have some academic concerns about Common Core, but my bigger concerns are about the fuzzy ways its adherents are telling us we are supposed to teach.  Content standards are fine, pedagogical methodologies are mostly fads.

Since I'm not a big fan of Common Core (but I really like California's math standards that we're now tossing aside), I really want to like this kid and his speech.

But let's be honest.  He's a high school kid.  What sounds deep to him is no better than the fluff that comes from having written too many "response to literature" essays in English class.  His facts at the beginning are pretty good, then he goes into the fluff.

Go watch the video at the link.  It's only 5:21 long.  I won't spoil the whole thing for you, but can you tell me what these statements mean?  In concrete terms that everyone understands?

"The standards illustrate a mistrust of teachers..."  how?  What he then describes is not part of Common Core standards.
"These subjective anxiety-producers do more to damage a teacher's self-esteem than you realize."  My commentary not necessary.
"...there will never be a system by which it's (teaching) accurately measured."  Does this kid not have "good" teachers and "bad" teachers?
"Standards-based education is ruining the way we teach and learn."  Who should determine what is to be taught, the individual teacher?
"The task of teaching is never quantifiable.  If everything I learned in high school was a measurable objective, I haven't learned anything."  Teaching is quantifiable to some degree--it's both an art and a science.  And I don't even know what he means by the second sentence.

His heart's in the right place.  I guess that's something.  But it's not a good enough reason for this video to go viral as the strike against Common Core.  It's a lot of smoke but no fire.

1 comment:

PeggyU said...

Thanks for that. I had the same reaction as well. But then, I have been around many debate students whose skills are more refined.