Yesterday we learned what Arne Duncan said—in support of Common Core State Standards. At first I didn’t think I could write about it because it made me sick. But then I decided I had to write about it.
From The Washington Post: Duncan said, “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.”
To this I must say, NO, Mr. Duncan. That’s not what’s scary. Here’s what really keeps many parents, of all different colors and background, up at night.
1. Having an Autistic child who you know could make progress, but there’s no behavioral program in your public school to serve them.
2. Recognizing there is no realistic Individual Education Plan for your child and your child’s needs are ignored.
3. Watching your child cry in fear and agony over repetitive testing.
4. Knowing the tests are totally inappropriate and out to get your child, their teacher and the school.
5. Fearing your school will be closed and converted into a chain, for-profit charter that will push-out your student with disabilities.
6. Not knowing how to pay for outside services, you can’t afford, that the public school used to provide.
7. Having your family life disrupted due to your child’s difficulties in school.
8. Knowing your child faces a draconian, one-size-fits-all, curriculum that doesn’t adjust for their strengths and/or disabilities.
9. Recognizing your child has abilities and interests that go unaddressed because teachers are being forced to focus more on the test than the children they teach.
10. Noticing your child’s teacher isn’t really credentialed.
11. Having your child’s talent in the arts ignored because there are no more real art or music programs.
12. Noticing your gifted student is made to do boring worksheets, or must work on their own with no guidance.
13. Being troubled that your twice-exceptional student’s disability is the total focus instead of their gifts.
14. Worrying what will eventually become of your child, after they grow up, because they haven’t received the truly necessary skills and/or education.
15. Seeing that your child isn’t really being prepared for college as we know it.
16. Fearing your child, who exhibits severe behavioral problems, might go over the edge and do something terrible.
17. Recognizing no one listens to you, or cares about your child, and maybe your child is learning to cheat to get attention and good test scores.
18. Agonizing whether your child will eventually be driven to drop out of school.
19. Being frightened that your nervous child will be made really ill over school work.
20. Experiencing angry that your kindergartener has no play or recess.
21. Feeling uneasy because your young child is being pushed to read too soon.
22. Frustrated because you do not know where, or who, to turn to for help.
23. Experiencing confusion over what your child is learning and embarrassed not to be able to help them with the mountain of homework they bring home.
24. Realizing time is fleeting and that you, and your child, are missing out on life’s joys.
25. Knowing your child is losing out on what really matters when it comes to learning.