We’re Upset, Mr. Duncan: Slammed Mothers Bite Back   3 comments

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan felt free to slam moms who stand against Common Core –yes, MOMS— during an official speech last week.

He lashed out against “white, suburban moms” who stand up against Common Core. The story was reported by Politico and was echoed by Fox News, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Manchester Union Leader, the New York Post, Washington Times, CNN and others.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Moms are biting back. Read what they are saying. From New York mom Ali Gordon to Virginia mom Gretchen Moran Laskas to the Utah moms like me, we are all kinds of mothers –there are tea partiers and there are also moms who call themselves “Progressive, bleeding heart liberals.” Mother bears all.

Duncan’s comment revealed an odd disrespect for white, suburban moms (I wonder what his wife thought of the comment) and it also revealed that Mr. Duncan believes the reason that the average American mother is opposed to Common Core is as simple as (excuse the Secretary of Education’s grammar, please) “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought.” Really, Mr. Duncan?

Mr. Duncan.

We’re upset because students and teachers are being subjected to unpiloted standards and privacy-invading tests that no parent nor teacher had a say in crafting –standards contrived by businessmen intent on making a buck off the “uniform customer base” that schools represent.

We’re upset, Mr. Duncan, that education without representation is being sold to us deceptively, and that children are being experimented upon. We’re upset, Mr. Duncan, that the standards themselves were rejected by top members of their own validation committee, but are being touted as excellent college prep –Even Common Core’s own architects have admitted that they prepare kids at best for a nonselective college, not a four year degree, and do not prepare students for STEM careers. (What was that you said about international competitiveness?)

We’re upset, too, that Department of Education officials label us, but they do not listen. Last summer, the Department gave speeches labeling us as “just” right-wing tea-partiers. Now your spokesman, Massie Ritsch, is saying: “The far right and far left have made up their minds, but there’s angst in the middle.” Really?

Mr. Duncan, moms are going to bite back; that’s what mother bears do.

It’s not because your Common Core is discovering faults in our children! We already know our children.

Common Core is an affront to children, to parents, to teachers, and is a robbery of legitimate, time-tested education. Mr. Duncan, we do not and will not hold back when it comes to our childrens’ education, their Constitutional right to privacy (no “unreasonable searches”) and to their teachers’ freedom to teach as THEY —not as bureaucrats and corporate talking heads and grant lures— see fit.

Count on it.

3 responses to “We’re Upset, Mr. Duncan: Slammed Mothers Bite Back

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  1. Uh, dads too. Just sayin’

  2. Maybe he’ll take on retired educators next who see no value in Common Core — just more of the same in this test-crazy educational environment. We’re ready for you, Arne! We know how students respond positively to a wonderful curriculum and a rich learning environment.

  3. I am from Mi, my children are homeschooled. I had a monentary lack of judgement and took my sons today to take a placement test after they had expressed a desire to return to public school. I was told that there was nothing they could do for me. Here is a brief explination. I removed my boys from public school last year after constant bullying ended in a fight which resulted in my son’s being the bearer of all the blame. I tried numerous times through the school to seek mediation and resolve for the issue. When the school failed to do anything (besides tell me to just drive them and pick them up because the majority of the problems happened after school…even though we only live a few blocks from the school and my sons should be safe enough to walk to school) I even sought out resolve with the other parent and suggested we have our boys do community service together. Nothing. So, after all of this then finding out that the principal of my oldest sons school was keeping him out of class any time anything happened on suspicion. I pulled them from school. Upon hearing I was planning to do this the teachers of both my sons contacted me. My oldest sons teacher wanted to make sure it wasn’t because of her. She apologized to me and informed me that with 28 students, 6 of which had add or adhd, she was teaching to the very small middle, those who didn’t quite get it but could after a brief explination. My son slipped through that crack, his math skills weren’t great and so he missed out on a lot because he wasn’t way ahead or behind enough to warrant intervention. But he also had difficulty understanding the way she taught. My second sons teacher contacted me bewildered at my reasoning for pulling him as well. He was doing great after all all As and Bs abd he got on great with all the kids. I wasn’t sure I agreed completely, especially since he was retained the previous year. Who was he on track with? Well an assessment he was given at the start of our honeschooling quickly showed his lack of being ‘on track’ as his teacher both claimed. He was 1.5 years behind in math (for the retained level!) and roughly .75 behind in reading and writing skills. Same with my oldest, with minor variance.
    So there we were spending the remainder of the year as honeschoolers trying so hard to ‘catch up’. Fast forward to today. They are still placing behind in math. Ill be honest with you, its not my favorite subject. Our homeschool curriculum was a bit lax, we didn’t have a definite structure but had main focus on reading and writing skills as well as math. I thought we were doing good. After all I based our learning off of the educational standards published by our state appropriate for our grade level. I wanted them to be where they should be, and even though we’re homeschoolers and we did have a more relaxed approach to learning, I take education very seriously. I work with all of my children regularly. My 5 year old daughter reads and writes, she does addition and subtraction. Lower values in her head even. My two year old son knows his letters and shapes, he knows most letter sounds. I make everything a learning experience. So, when their placement test came back that they were behind, I was surprised but also expected a small variation in their math skills. What I was not expecting however was the school, in the district that I live and pay taxes in, telling me that there is nothing they could do. I was literally told that I would be better served to try another district. Oxford to be exact, and if Oxford couldn’t help me then no one could. Their first suggestion was even more ridiculous: just don’t teach them anything for the rest of the year and try to get them into a charter school opening next year?!
    I know this all might sound unbelievable, but I assure you its not. Under oath the facts would still be the same as you’ve . I’ve since realized its best we continue to homeschool. After all, it is my responsibility as a parent to educate my children. I believe in them despite what the failing district I live in says, and I know that while their math skills aren’t the greatest that doesn’t mean they need an iep and special ed classes. I refuse to allow that. My concern is for parents who don’t know any better or those who do but feel hopeless. There has to be something I can do. To be told I can’t enroll my children in school( unless I okay special ed because their math skills are behind) is something that just doesn’t sit well with me. So I’m urging all parents who are equally as frustrated and upset with the school system in Brandon or the state of Mi or the country to please contact me. Please share this so it reaches enough people…You can email me, fb message me or comment. Do something…as parents it is our responsibility to DEMAND and RECIEVE education for our children according to our standards. Homeschooled or not.
    a.a simpson@charter.net

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