Education Secretary Arne Duncan realized fairly quickly that he had stumbled.
He had just told a gathering of state superintendents of education that “white suburban moms” were rebelling against the Common Core academic standards — new guidelines for math and language arts instruction — because their kids had done poorly on the tough new tests.
“All of a sudden, their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought … and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said at the event Friday.
Two hours later, with those comments sparking outrage on social media, Duncan told POLITICO that he “didn’t say it perfectly.”
And he formally apologized on an Education Department blog Monday.
But he stood by his thesis: To oppose the Common Core is to oppose progress.
“Do we want more for our kids, or do we want less?” Duncan said. “Do we want higher standards or not?”
That’s the debate that Duncan dearly wants to have.
It’s not, however, the debate he’s getting.
To the immense frustration of Common Core supporters, an eclectic array of critics have raised sustained and impassioned objections about the new standards. From New York to Florida to Michigan to Louisiana, their voices are so loud and their critiques so varied that they have muddied the narrative around Common Core. It’s no longer a focused national debate about high standards; it’s hundreds of local debates, about everything from student privacy rights to cursive handwriting to computerized testing to the value of Shakespeare.
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The Collaboration Pyramid by oscarberg, on Flickr The Collaboration Pyramid offers a great visual to dive deeper into the nature of authentic collaboration and optimized production. In traditional team-based collaborative models we experience the “form, storm, norm and perform” process, and it has proved to be very useful in the context of team effectiveness, but perhaps leaves a bit of a void in the area of personal responsibility, or individual motivation to make a meaningful contribution to the team.
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