Perhaps I have lived in a box most of my life but I can attest that I had not really heard the word ‘rigor’ until Common Core Standards started to surface. Rigor is about helping students learn at higher levels. Ironically, a friend of mine met a Russian girl at the mall yesterday who said in Russia she was learning in 5th grade what American kids are learning in college. You can look at the rigor of our educational standards in the 50′s and see that American schools are soft in the rigor department just so the below average students don’t have to fail. I’m wondering if when Common Core experts use the word ‘rigor’ they are meaning ‘rigor mortis’ or death as education has been stripped of mind stretching challenging learning. New York schools even have a sit and be bored or play dead policy for students who have opted out of the standardized testing.
MARION, N.Y. – The controversy surrounding the new Common Core-aligned standardized tests is causing some New York school leaders to act as childish and immature as the students they are supposed to be leading.
13WHAM.com reports at least 16 school districts in the Empire State have implemented a “sit and stare” policy for students who’ve been opted-out of the state assessments by their parents.
Such students “will have to sit at their desks without any other reading or testing materials, while all the students around them take the 60- to 90-minute exams,” the news site reports.
It’s not difficult to read between the lines here. The “sit and stare” policy is a way petty and vindictive school principals and superintendents can get back at parents who are pushing back against the Common Core experiment.
The parents are making the school leaders’ lives more difficult, so they’re going to return the favor – by making the children pay.
That’s not just our interpretation of what’s happening; the leader of the state’s largest teachers union sees it the same way.
“This (‘sit and stare’) policy aimed at students whose parents elect to ‘opt out’ their children from state standardized testing is unconscionable,” said Richard Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers, in a February press release.
I’ve found when talking to administrative persons in the educational field that they talk about the beautiful words of a ‘fairer education’. These pretty fairytale words are absolutely unrealistic and unnatural and impossible to make every student coming out of the educational machine the same. The reason; NO group of children could EVER have an equal footing in education because of genetics. The problem with making fairness and sameness your goal is that to be successful you must kill off the intellect of those who have a greater capability to comprehend by erasing challenging and rigorous learning.