Thursday, December 8, 2011

Look Out - Straw Man Falling!

ACK! I'm on a role! Checker Finn over at Fordham posted an opinion piece today called, "The Euro and the Common Core". I realize that Chester Finn is a well-respected education policy guru, however, I completely DISAGREE with his support of the Common Core. I have from the start. Again, any right-leaning organization (person) that does truly concerns me because I realize the thought process behind it. I have called Checker Finn on those below:

As one of the kvetchers, I'll have to call you out on this classic "straw man" argument, I'm afraid.

By pointing to the Common Core as the ONLY way to prevent American education from going the way of the Euro, you've painted yourself into a corner.

This is a Constitutional issue issue whether you like it or not Checker.
While I appreciate that many of you education reformers like to see all roads as a means to an end, there's a silly little thing called the "Constitution" that provides our Country the map on which to draw those roads. The federal government has no business collecting taxes from Americans to fund a Department of Education at the federal level. Once it did, it degenerated into a "carrot and stick" enforcer where, if a state wanted money (obviously, the state's fault for not funding it's own budget - where have we heard that before?), the 'enforcer' could use that carrot to lure them in close enough to thwack them in the head with the stick of "here's what I want you to do now".

I used to hate taking money from my parents when I was in college. I ALWAYS knew that somehow, some way, I would be told how to spend it if I did, and we rarely saw eye-to-eye on the issue. (FYI, in this parable, we see the Federal government as the parents, and the states as the college student.)

I realize you support the Common Core, but the manner in which you do it is so, well, elitist. YOU know what's better for the states than the states themselves (or the parents of the kids in the schools in the states). YOU have the key to creating capable American citizenry through YOUR plan to tie them all together through a COMMON (which also means ORDINARY, by the way - and COMMUNAL and I've had enough of that with OWS thank you very much) standard.

Well, guess what? Your state may want something ordinary that fits all American students (like an oversize - or undersize - sweater, depending upon WHO you are as an INDIVIDUAL), but I don't really want my kids to be communal, or ordinary. I want them to be exceptional individuals who understand that the Constitution is a set of laws and once you break one, you tend to break a lot, and that tends to skew the course of government and nations....hmmmmm nothing like that going on in America right now so what am I worried about?