How Did David Coleman Persuade a Nation
To Drop All Things Beautiful From Schools?
I imagine if David Coleman were to value a diamond, he would base its worth solely on the fact that it’s the hardest substance in nature. The diamond’s beauty, its way of bringing people joy, or its history as the symbol of eternal romance, would not matter to Coleman. Just so long as the darn rock can drill through some stuff. That’s how he thinks about reading and writing.
This is why he has gotten rid of all things beautiful in education:
- No more cursive.
- No more traditional math.
- Very little classic literature, to make room for mostly informational text.
- Informational texts to include insulation manuals and Executive Orders, in the English classroom.
That’s Common Core. The perfect lockstep methodology for delivering whatever the person or people at the top consider to be appropriate for the rest of the nation. A potential propaganda machine with no amendability by local voices. It’s under copyright by the “sole developers,” the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
And the Common Core English standards were produced under the direction of David Coleman, who moved from being the national standards leader to being president of the College Board in one fell swoop.
Is this the man you want leading a nation’s educational standards?
Not me. In fact, I don’t want any one man having that much power over so many.
Remember back in B.C.C.? Before Common Core? We used to determine standards locally, not top-down from Washington. We were free to soar as high as Massachusetts, or to fail as badly as the worst of the worst. It was up to us.
It seemed almost that we remembered the spirit of the Constitution, the spirit of independence and local power, once upon that pre-common core time. The promoters of Common Core continue to claim it’s a grass-roots, state-led initiative. But who can honestly see it that way, when nobody even knew about Common Core until the elite groups that produced it, had already sold it to governors and state school boards without a public vote or any kind of vetting by the average teacher, parent or principal? It was an under-the-radar sneaky move that nationalized American education just like any other socialist nation’s educational system. And we are stuck with it, until enough people tell their school boards and governors NO.
As for David Coleman, he’s not a teacher and never has been. Somehow he still managed to acquire the job of central architect of the now mostly-national Common Core English Standards –and also, to repeat, to drill the fact into our collective conscious– he became president of the College Board and he is now aligning the Common Core standards with college entrance exams. Yes, the SAT.
My purpose for writing today is not to figure out how he wormed his way to such positions of power without any teaching experience. My purpose is to ponder the unlovely place he’s taking us, to shake us up and help us to see that he’s wrecking the beauty and effectiveness of real education.
The absolutely least lovely comment I’ve ever heard from any educator, ever, came from David Coleman:
“As you grow up in this world you realize that people really don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think… it is rare in a working environment that someone says, ‘Johnson I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’ That is rare”
It’s on this very short video clip:
What kind of legitimate educator would speak so narrowly about the purposes and benefits of writing narratively? Such a dreary-minded, utilitarian philosopher should not be honored with the leading of our nation’s K-12 –and now, also, our nation’s university– environment.