Common Core: It Will Take A Village to Fight Their Village

Recently, anti-Common Core activists in Florida and Georgia (and other states) were treated to the nugatory charms of the “listening tour.”  State education officials carefully concealed the piles of crumpled twenties that Bill Gates shoved in their knickers and turned out to quote listen to the public unquote.

In other words, they pretended to give opponents of Common Core little snippets of time to speak on a vast, all-encompassing education reform that they, the elected officials in charge of education policy, have been laundering like illicit meth profits behind closed doors for years.  And so of course the activists sounded outraged and often emotional: how on earth do you address a sweeping, transformative, mostly-concealed program that touches every aspect of the education system and have been foisted on the public through backdoor methods we still only barely understand — all in three minutes or less? ... 

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Why Build Permanent Coalitions to Fight the Common Core? Because This Fight is Going to be a Long One.

The fight against Common Core is not going to end with the defeat of Common Core.

Too much damage has been done to education.  The damage emanates from the education schools, which were taken over by radicals back in the 1960’s and then became the stomping grounds for the most intellectually dim and narcissistic domestic terrorists of that era — people like Bill Ayers.    It was clever of the bomb-throwers to pack up their dynamite and turn to their daddies’ rolodexes to score jobs training future teachers, but they alone did not radicalize teacher education, of course.  It was the work of many hands. ... 

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Political Science’s Hateful Pseudoscience: Harvard’s Theda Skocpol Wants The Tea Party to Stop Participating in Politics

Unlike literature professors, whose impenetrable secret twin languages and embarrassing fixation on their own genitals tend to keep them off the editorial pages, political scientists are always with us, especially during elections, when they slap on their wizard hats to make predictions that range from the pseudo-wise (I predict there will be . . . an election on November 7) to the pseudo-scholarly (Obama is magic!).

Political science just keeps getting worse as the last holdouts from a generation that at least feigned objectivity die off and get replaced by ideologues who are so far removed from objectivity that they’re feigning scholarship instead. ... 

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Common Core: The Bluest Eye Debate

I’m coming late to the discussion about the inclusion of Toni Morrison’s novella Bluest Eye on high school reading lists (it is a popular choice for high school and college English classes as well as women’s studies classes, and this popularity predates the relatively new Common Core standards debates).  Some activists who became aware of the Toni Morrison book through their opposition to Common Core are arguing that Bluest Eye endorses child molestation because the book contains a character who is a molester speaking in the first person, and Morrison herself has made comments to the effect that she is trying to get readers to see his point of view, comments that are being taken out of context and misconstrued.  Incidentally, the book is also extremely graphic, more graphic than many people who are weighing in to defend it seem to be aware of — I suspect many of them didn’t actually read the book.

I don’t think The Bluest Eye is in any way an endorsement of pedophilia.  But I also don’t think that it, and other “problem story” books like it, are appropriate for literature classes — nor that they are put on the curriculum for their qualities as literature in the first place.  We’ve turned English and literature classes (excuse me, language arts) into social problem encounter sessions — sessions that often devolve into narcissistic competitions between varying claims of victimization. ... 

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Political Organizing Notes: The Irony of ALEC versus Better Georgia (and Their Apologists at the AJC)

I have no use for monied special interests of any political stripe. But conflating the conservative business lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) with the Trayvon Martin tragedy, as Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution does here and has done elsewhere, is unspeakably sleazy.

Jim Galloway: Giving Indignation a Bad Name ... 

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