Stop me if you’re an elementary parent and have heard this or a version of this recently:
Our teachers have spent time reviewing the Common Core Standards and practice assessments. These standards require an integrated approach, one that combines learning from many disciplines to solve problems—just like in the real world. It will be important for your child to strengthen his or her critical thinking skills and find and use multiple types of data. These are skills needed in work and in life.
Our teachers and our students will be working together more, using technology, and demonstrating what they have learned in new ways. We will be supporting and yet challenging students to persevere through complex tasks and seek out needed information. These new standards, connected to the great work our teachers already do, will support and
deepen learning for your child.
Or maybe this one:
As we progress and continue to grow as a school district, we will begin to implement new standards in our classrooms that will ensure college- and career readiness for our children. This change will bring with it a shift in how we look at our teaching methods. During this change, you will see an increase in the need for improved reading and writing skills as well as a need for our children to work independently and persevere through difficult tasks. Students will be challenged with using skills they learned in solving real world problems. We will be connecting their learning to the world outside the school walls like never before. We look forward to taking this journey with you and appreciate your support.
If you attended We Will Not Conform, you know by now I was at the messaging/public relati0ns table. We talked briefly about the well-coordinated and funded PR machine Common Core has working for them. Well, these two little speeches are from a Common Core talking point kit aimed at Elementary Principals. That kit is located at the National Association of Elementary Principals (NAESP) in something called ‘The Multifaceted Principal’. Check out the checklist too.
This piece I’ve just quotes from was written by Kristine Gullen and Martin Chaffee.
The NAESP document describes them as ‘consultants’ at Oakland Schools in Michigan:
Kristine Gullen is a consultant in the school quality/learning services department at Oakland Schools in Waterford, Michigan.
Martin Chaffee is a leadership consultant at Oakland Schools.
Martin Chaffee really has no bio floating around out there. Everywhere I looked he was just “leadership consultant”. His LinkedIn shows his qualifications for being a “leadership consultant” and that’s seems to be rising from band director to school principal over the course of 20 years.
Kristine Gullen, PhD, is a learner, writer, teacher, and educator. Over the past 28 years in education, she has worked at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in both general and special education settings. Currently her work supports leadership, instruction, curriculum development, student engagement, Common Core standards, Smarter Balanced implementation, common assessment development, and technology integration.
By the way, check out ASCD, they’ve got affiliates in 45 states. Is yours one? NC has an affiliate office. North Carolinians can check out what school officials make up their board and ask any that they know if they will be attending the upcoming rather pricey workshop that avoids mentioning Common Core in their flyer.
One more quick thing I’d like to point out, your PTA dues are tied up in these type of things like the NAESP article. The national PTA has been backing Common Core and continues to. See what this set of talking points from NAESP says about it:
Visit the National PTA website to access their Parents’ Guides to Student Success series. The guides, which are available in English and Spanish, explain what students should be learning in English language arts and mathematics in each grade, once Common Core is fully implemented.
Consider that if you are a member, your dues are likely funding talking points like this.