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[Susan notes: "When the richest nation in the world solves its own absurdly high rate of child poverty, we won't be having these kinds of debates" is a great summary sentence, and it's always good to point out neo-liberal connection to the Center for American Progress, which is spending its Gates money the way it was told to spend it.]

Published in US News & World Report
08/24/2015

To the editor

Just because it's Common Core aligned doesn't make it boring (August 20)is a sad example of misguided thinking. While Ms. Partelow decries a "false dichotomy between teaching creatively and teaching from standards," she misses some of her own false dichotomies. For example, she suggests that those who oppose Common Core would like teaching to be a profession in which teachers can "do whatever they want all day with no guidelines or restrictions." This implication is ridiculous and reflects no understanding of the true opposition to Common Core.

The tail wagging the dog of Common Core is its reliance upon standardized testing, an "assessment" that has been shown through independent research to reveal not learning but rather the zip code of students' homes. This utter requisite of standardized testing is the core of opposition to Common Core. When the punishments of job loss, salaries, state takeovers of schools and districts, and other such demeaning and destructive penalties are applied, the result is a dire need to teach to the test. Bowling pins aside, the impact is one of decreased creativity, decreased funding, and a deterrent to the kinds of authentic teaching/learning and authentic assessments that most teachers know and want to do.

Furthermore, Ms. Partelow misses the elephant in the living room that is poverty. When the richest nation in the world solves its own absurdly high rate of child poverty, we won't be having these kinds of debates.

One can only wonder if Ms. Partelow's opinions are affected by her position at the Center for American Progress, with its major funding by Bill Gates, who desperately wants to turn every classroom into a computer-based cell needing, perhaps, only monitors, rather than the kind of creative teachers Ms. Partelow appreciates.

Cindy Lutenbacher


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