Posted on November 18, 2013 and updated for April 2, 2014 by Nancy Bailey
Last November I wrote about why parents worried about Arne Duncan, who stands in support of Common Core State Standards. It was after he said, in reference to the standards, “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.”
On March 28, the PBS NEWSHOUR did an interesting report on Mr. Duncan’s diminishing support by both the left and the right which can be seen here.
I thought I’d revise and reprint my list of what keeps many parents up at night when it comes to their child’s education and schools. Feel free to add to the list….
This is what I think scares parents:
- Common Core State Standards.
- Having your family’s life disrupted due to your child’s difficulties in school.
- Knowing high-stakes tests are totally inappropriate and out to get your child, their teacher and the school.
- Worrying that your child will be singled out and punished if you opt them out of the test.
- Having an Autistic child who you know could make progress, but there’s no behavioral program in your public school to serve them.
- Recognizing there is no realistic Individual Education Plan for your child and your child’s needs are ignored.
- Watching your stressed-out child cry in fear and agony over repetitive testing.
- Fearing your school will be closed and converted into a chain, for-profit charter that will push-out your student with disabilities, language difficulties, or because you are too poor.
- Not knowing how to pay for outside services, you can’t afford, that the public school used to provide.
- Knowing your child faces a draconian, one-size-fits-all, curriculum that doesn’t adjust for their strengths and/or disabilities.
- 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.
- Noticing your child’s teacher isn’t really credentialed.
- Having your child’s talent in the arts ignored because there are no more real art or music programs.
- Noticing your gifted student is made to do boring worksheets, or must work on their own with no guidance–or that they are being made to teach other students.
- Being troubled that your twice-exceptional student’s disability is the total focus instead of their abilities and talents.
- Worrying what will eventually become of your child, after they grow up, because they haven’t received the truly necessary skills and/or education.
- Seeing that your child isn’t really being prepared for college as we know it.
- Fearing your child, who exhibits severe behavioral problems, might go over the edge and do something terrible.
- 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.
- Agonizing whether your child will eventually be driven to drop out of school.
- Being frightened that your nervous child will be made really ill over school work.
- Experiencing anger that your kindergartener has no play or recess.
- Feeling uneasy because your young child is being pushed to read too soon.
- Frustrated because you do not know where, or who, to turn to for help.
- 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.
- Realizing time is fleeting and that you, and your child, are missing out on life’s joys.
- Knowing your child is losing out on what really matters when it comes to learning.
- Recognizing that your child’s teacher is teaching out of fear of losing their job.
- Understanding that your child’s test score could reflect badly on the teacher and cause them to lose their job.
- Noticing that your child is being pushed to learn everything online.
And parents, teachers and students always know that learning in public school could be better and wishing their voices could be heard. This is what keeps them all up at night, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan .
J Chiappa says
Common Core Standards are destroying the self-esteem and drive of today’s children. I have a kindergarten student that is intelligent and well spoken yet his teacher has told him otherwise via her “curriculum” of ten-frames and cube-trains. She has actually un-taught him subtraction!! The homework for Core-Standards in math is just repetitive garbage and is NOT teaching kids how to figure things out. It is teaching them how to take a standardized test. Since when is kindergarten about filling in bubbles??