— A.P. Dillon – LL1885 (@LadyLiberty1885) August 30, 2015
An article on Common Core penned by one Andy Overstreet appeared in the News and Observer this weekend. The title was, Creating School Standards that make sense for children.
This article might be behind the pay wall for some readers, but I managed to read the whole thing and I have to say, this is possibly the most arrogant and insulting Common Core article I’ve seen in a while.
First and foremost, the entire premise of the article is based in a big, fat strawman argument. That argument rests on the fact that we don’t even know ‘what our kids will face in their life and work 20 years from now’ but yet, somehow, Common Core is immune to that fact.
Mr. Overstreet, how does Common Core magically answer that same question of ‘what our kids will face in their life and work 20 years from now’? Overstreet admits in his opening paragraphs that no one knows what jobs will be like in 2035 — But hey, Common Core is the answer, so don’t you touch it!
According to Overstreet’s very first sentence, the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) really doesn’t know what they think they know.
Overstreet starts out his article with the insulting assertion that because of “political ideology” and “grandpa’s curriculum”, the ASRC tasked with reviewing NC’s standards (Common Core) is somehow too stupid to produce any significant recommendations for changes.
Was that “grandpa’s curriculum” comment a slight to ASRC member Dr. Scheik’s age?
Funnily enough, Overstreet is a “grandpa” himself, but he, like his strawman premise, is apparently immune.
The remainder of the article throws around old and debunked Common Core talking points and includes the related buzzwords like ‘Global economy’ and ’21st century learning’. The piece then closes with a shaming finger wag.
How arrogant this guy Overstreet is — or perhaps it’s not arrogance, but ignorance and is, as Overstreet himself wrote, the “illusion of knowledge”.
Perhaps it’s neither but instead, a fat paycheck. The article ends with this sentence:
Andy Overstreet, a former superintendent of schools in Virginia, recently retired from N.C. State University College of Education
Yes, recently retired from NCSU College of Education’s Friday Institute where Overstreet was “Director of Education Leadership Initiatives” and served on the leadership team, as well as Executive Coach for the North East Leadership Academy (NELA).
RTTT is not the only source of funding, though.
The Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) is an innovative school leader preparation program designed to develop 21st Century school leaders for rural, high-need schools in Northeastern North Carolina. NELA was initially funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction. Subsequent funding was secured through North Carolina’s Race to the Top award by the U.S. Department of Education.
–NELA Wikispaces Page
Don’t miss the “NELA Logic Model” graphic.
There are four education related grants on the Gates Foundation site for NC State University, but I have to believe there are more grants listed under a different title or group since NELA started well before the dates on the current Gates grant list.
It is possible the money was funneled to NELA through one of the two grants from the Gates Foundation that went directly to NC Dept. of Public Schools:
Mr. Overstreet brings little to the table with this Op Ed besides a myopic, echo chamber view of Common Core wrapped in a series of intelligence insulting statements.
Those of us who have been on the ground at every Legislature committee meeting, the ASRC meetings, have been in our kids classrooms and have sat at our kitchen tables watching Common Core unfold know what we see. Our knowledge isn’t “illusion”.
- Bill and Melinda Gates grants – NCSU
- Friday Institute Hosted ‘Teachers Leading Change‘ Seminar, May 2015
- Research grants/ Current Projects NCSU Friday Institute (via Internet Archive)