When in Dysfunctional Doubt…

I teach what is now called “English Language Arts,” a term that pretty much tells you everything needed to understand the K-12 teaching community and its inability to articulate succinctly and well.

But I digress inarticulately.

Speaking of succinct, let’s try to be so this morning.

Here are the 8th Grade “English Language Arts” Common Core Standards for “informational text” (this term means either “boring text,” “non-fiction text” but, most likely, both).


Here’s a recent story from Education Week about school districts/states around the U.S. gearing up for Common Core by buying tons of stuff:  technology, consultants, “professional development,” etc.

Looking back at the Standards, where does it spell out anything that needs huge spending on anything other than simply getting kids on the Internet?   Sure, Socrates and anybody else using his “method” could get by with just such Grecian steps and a little story written on papyrus, but we’ll have inexpensive laptops (that certainly won’t cost more than hard-copy textbooks now do) and open-source materials.  There’s no need to spend all those “professional development” dollars to coach teachers in:

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Really?  Really?  Are current teachers really so bad that they can’t do that already?  That they aren’t doing this already?

Methinks we’re buying a Lamborghini (with the special suspension package) to get the kids to soccer practice here.  Make that I KNOW we’re buying the Lamborghini here.



3 thoughts on “When in Dysfunctional Doubt…

  1. Polonius:

    My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is,
    What day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief. Your noble son is mad. . . .

    Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 86–92

  2. Ecclesiastes 1:9

    What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

  3. Steve: Oh… the tediousness of limbs and outward flourishes…

    would certainly, in itself, make a good epitaph for many of those involved in “educational policy” through the years, recent years in closely proximate locations especially.

    p.s.: Thanks for throwing the Shakespeare and Bible about…so much more elevated than “moo” and “oink.” Some among us could learn a thing or two about such erudition.

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