Tag Archives: education

On “The Smog of War”

As I write this, my Twitter stream just lit up with news of a bomb blast in Kunduz, a town in northern Afghanistan (near Tajikistan). Suicide bomber. Killed the anti-terrorism chief of the province.

In other words: whatever. It happens all the time, or seems to anyway. That was the whole story of Afghanistan, bomb-blasts and intractable zealots, until I met, talked to, and read the stories of some teenage Afghan students. So, anyway, read about this education in an article I wrote for The Morning News.

I didn’t title the piece (“The Smog of War”) but the more that I think about it, the better it is. Smog is man-made pollution that disrupts our vision. And, indeed, the smog was a self-imposed ignorance of Afghanistan rather than a natural fog.

If you happen to be reading this and are interested in supporting students like the ones profiled in the article, please consider supporting The Foundation for Afghanistan. If you are interested in more stories by Afghan women, The Afghan Women’s Writing Project is wonderful.

Common Core Standards and the End of School

The insane graphic above describes the wonders that will be worked in public education by the Common Core Standards. I found it on this post by Ellie Robins at Melville House. Basically, the Standards launch a Cyberman-style attack upon your child and encase them in a robotic shell called “measurable output.”  Ellie’s post and the Washington Post article it is refers to are both enlightening.

Here is my own version of this graphic. WARNING: I suck at graphics and did this quickly on MS Publisher. MS Publisher is a frustrating program for those wishing to do things. It ended up looking like washing day for the Illuminati. If you’re better at graphics, please improve upon it!

Here’s a guide to this graphic:

We will begin with MS clip-art boy in the cross-hairs. This boy is engaged in Free Voluntary Reading. He is lucky: he has access to books!

People don’t give a shit about what you think.” – quote from David Coleman, an architect of the common core curriculum standards and president of the College Board.

1. Poverty and Poor Health Care (see here, and for more numbers, here)

-arrow-

2. Poor Academic Performance (see here and also Krashen here.)

-arrow-

3. Blame Teachers (Find your own link. Well this one is OK.)

-arrow-

4. Hire Companies to Produce Tests and Standards (The College Board, ACT, and ETS are the players. See here.)

-arrow-

5. Pay Millions to Testing Companies (Should say BILLIONS!)

-arrow-

Complete the cirlce — you are back to poverty and poor health care! Why? Because creating Common Core Standards has not addressed any Core issue.

Big overlapping circle says, “1st: Claim schools are broken.” But are they?

Other overlapping circle says, “2nd: Fix Schools with Tests.” Which is what this is all about: the guy selling you the “cure” also created the disease. A classic scam on an epic scale!

-Final arrow leads to —

“Have you considered moving to Finland?”

Finland does not have standardized testing. They also have one of the best educational systems in the world (first in reading, top five in science and math). (link)

See also: Anything by Diane Ravitch.