This blog welcomes readers who believe that No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top, and Every Student Succeeds Act are misguided educational reform policies that rely too heavily on standardized test scores that are too focused on punitive measures against local schools. This is also the diary of Jesse Turner's 2010/15 walks to Washington DC from Connecticut, and his occupation of the DOE in DC with United Opt Out, and his opposition to public school choice policies without equity.
saw this image at https://www.facebook.com/WomenHoldUpHalfTheSky with the
caption A Girl with a book, and the following Oscar Wild quote "If one
cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it
got me to thinking about these Common Core Groupies running around shouting
Rigor, Rigor, Rigor. They certainly have no sense of vocabulary, or what a
dictionary is. Any quick check of the meaning of rigor comes up with something
3 (rigors) the rigors of the journey: hardship, harshness, severity,
adversity; ordeal, misery, trial; discomfort, inconvenience, privation.
they did they might understand why early childhood experts think they are plain
nuts. Actually early childhood experts viewed them as being absolutely, completely, totally crazy, wacko nuts!
childhood experts can't see any parent saying bring on the
for my child.
hope this problem with the rigor thing is starting to make a little sense now.
It certainly is not a word we should be using with young children.
back to reading a book you enjoy over and over again. It appears these CC
Groupies don't have time for anything, but this close reading thing. They are
fanatical over it in fact. This close reading doesn't take into account any
emotional connections to books. It's all objective for them. For example: when
I finished reading Isabel Allende's "House of spirits" I was in between
flights at O'Hara International Airport. I found myself crying uncontrollably so like any "too proud to cry" male I hid my tears under my
jacket. It appears that was all wrong with them. They can't get past any type of enjoyment
in reading. Now I did say enjoyment, but reading "Hosue of Spirits" made me sad enough to cry. How does that become enjoyment, well really sad books have a way of releasing happy tearful tears. Sort of like the blues, and I'm a big blues man. Now these CC Groupies can't take crying of any kind. Can't you hear them shouting: It's all about the information, the
standards, and the test stupid. Pleasing them would mean I should have focused on the factual
information, and not get lost in the narrative of love, lost, and pain. They'll
all objective about books; it's all about the information. Understand
these are CEO types, they dream of a McEducation for every child. Every burger
is the same size, every one cooked at the same temperature, and they all get
flipped at the same time. McEducation is for everyone, but their children. Well
that's me getting off the subject again. I do that when I write. I also do it when I read sometimes as well. Getting lost in books is equivalent to finding your soul. They'll never get that one. My apologies the subject is reading a book
you enjoy over and over again.
have been working with struggling readers, their parents, and their teachers
for over 30 years now. I can't remember one skill, one strategy, one phoneme,
vowel, or vocabulary lesson that sparked a love of reading. That is not to say
these things didn't help, but compared to discovering the right book these are
grains of sand.
yes, the right book is important, but it's like a pebble really. That is when compared to the climate created by the
right teacher/parent/friend/ that invites the reader into the right book. The
right climate is a mountain compare to the right book. It's the Holy Grail of joining the literacy club. On the journey to
becoming a reader who enjoys reading the sand becomes the pebbles, the pebble
become the mountain. It all goes together. Remember reading is a complex
process. Anyone telling you differently is nuts.
those CC Groupies they do get all up tight with enjoying reading anything. Heck
if you expect to enjoy reading then you might expect to enjoy your job one day.
Every teacher, knows that Common Core Heaven explicitly forbids it's groupies from enjoying anything about any one's future career. Everything about the future scares them. They live in constant fear of the 21st century despite living in it. Future careers are all about being college ready and globally
competitive. I can't imagine inspiring young people by saying, "stay
focused, or you won't be globally competitive" in the future. The
future for me as a young kid was about being the heavy weight champion of the
world, the next Elvis, and or the next Steve McQueen. This globally
competitiveness thing would not have inspired me. Now I am doubly sure it wouldn't
inspire today's young people.
quick review we have grains of sand, pebbles, and the mountain. Right?
together they become the magic that sparks reading for enjoyment. The magic is
the invitation to join the literacy club. Oh, oh, I mentioned the Literacy
Club again, this means I have to mention Frank Smith who happens to be a real literacy expert. These CC Groupies hate literacy experts. Actually CC Groupies hate just about any education expert. They hate researchers as well. They adore their CEO friends, Billionaires friends, and Ed Deformer friends. Now these Ed Deformers friends utterly hate "The Literacy Club." it's a Frank Smith metaphor describing the social nature of literacy learning. You see the problem don't you? You realize the word socialism has the word social in it. To these CC Groupies reading is a fierce competition, child against child, friend against friend, even family member against family member. Reading in the 21st century for CC Groupies is a survival of the fittest
Everyone agrees reading is a complex process, and no one has a simple
answer, but I have never met a reader who loves reading who never fell in love
with at least one book. Now these Common Core groupies they don't have time for
these things, they only have rigorous demands on students and teachers. Their
mantra said over and over again a hundred times every hour is "We need
rigorous standards and rigorous tests will save us". Sounds kind of corny
to me actually. As for me well I would go for the right book, right climate, even if the
book is about Zombies. I wouldn't even mention the word zombies around these
people. That's another story about their obsessive love of non-fiction books. I'll
cover that, some other day people. Let me end by saying imagine a
world where learning isn't a race, You know like in Finland. Oh, they
are ranked number one in literacy. Emmmm, they might have something
Jesse The Walking Man
you are wondering what I am listening to today on my walk over the mountain
it's all Barry Lane.