On the first day of school, my fourth grader complained that they’d had “another dumb assembly on bullies.”
“Do you have bullies at your school?” I asked.
Today, the first day of the second week of school, my fourth grader complained that they’d had “another dumb team meeting.”
“What’s a team meeting?” I asked.
“That’s when we sit in a circle and talk about walking in the hall better.”
“Walking in the hall better?!”
“And a dumb, creepy lady comes in and says we can come and talk to her whenever we have problems with bullies, which nobody has,” he said.
I have a problem with this on so many levels. First of all, why are they having repeated, ad-nauseum lessons on bullying while they cannot do their multiplication tables or long division without 99% of the training coming from moms like me? Secondly, why do they have “team meetings” when they lack time to adequately cover science, history, art, writing, cursive, literature, poetry, languages and grammar? Third, why is there a paid position for a “creepy lady” they are supposed to learn bullying lessons from and go and talk to about their problems, when we don’t have enough salaries to go around for art and other teachers?
Why are we being told by the State Office of Education and our local and state school boards that academic rigor is increasing because of Common Core, when it simply isn’t true? Academic rigor is being minimized and marginalized: cursive is dropped, math is being made fuzzy (“integrated math”) literature is being pushed aside in favor of info-texts by Common Core mandate, most dramatically at high school levels, and time is being made for touchy-feeling nonacademic time waster programs that promote Obama-style social justice thinking.
Is this school or some kind of social-justice church we are sending our kids to?