“Our problems exist in the present, and it is only in the present that they can be resolved.” J. Krishnamurti
The call for college and career readiness is a manufactured problem that abuses kids, frustrates parents, and demoralizes educators. It a hostile take-over of the most despicable kind; punishment of families and extortion of communities in the guise of philanthropy and the goal of profit. It is not seen that way because the questions and conversations at the dinner table and faculty rooms have been replaced by the fear and rhetoric of reformers.
The reformers misdirect and confuse with their questions which have dominated the education dialogue. They ask, If not high-stakes testing, and standardization, and Common Core, data-mining, modules, APPR, John King, and Pearson then what? How can we hold teachers accountable, measure student progress, and compare the US education system with the rest of the world without these pieces to the education reform plane that is being built in mid air with our children inside? How can we teach our students to be college and career ready without standardized tests?
These are not my questions. They are the ones that disrupt the conversation about how to ensure the best teaching and learning in our schools and intentionally limit our potential for success.
My questions are simple. What do students need? Why do they need it? How should they get it? Did they learn it? What can be done to make it better next time?
What “it” is, is as differentiated and as authentic as each child in front of each teacher in each classroom and cannot be forced to fit a standardized test no matter how rigorous, internationally benchmarked, or well-funded the messenger is.
We cannot have honest dialogue answering their questions with their words and within their framework. It is time to move forward and pose the questions and provide the solutions for our children in our schools in our communities. We have the answers as parents, educators, and community leaders to the important questions that affect our children. We just need to change the questions to the ones that matter to the people that matter the most to us.