A parent’s response to Arne Duncan

Nov 18, 2013 by

Kenneth J. Bernstein- Parent said, “Brennan has every advantage you can think of. He’s white. He’s upper-middle class. He has hyper-involved parents.”

Who in continuing to attack those who oppose Common Core

Told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — 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 they were.”

(quoted from this post at Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet Blog)

The following appeared on the Facebook page of Gretchen Moran Laskas, whose son attends school in Fairfax County VA, and is crossposted here with her permission:

I want to share a little bit why I’m so angry at Secretary of Education’s Arne Duncan’s comment about “white suburban Mom’s” being against Common Core because it might show us that our children aren’t brilliant. It’s a personal story, and I tell it because sometimes it’s true that the personal really is political.

I’ve talked a bit about my son Brennan, and his struggles in school. This was a child he was what they call a “late bloomer. By the standards of the curriculum in place now, throughout most of his life, he was often considered a “failure” (let alone brilliant) by many people in the school system. I had a speech pathologist tell me that he would never learn to speak clearly because I hadn’t enrolled him in early intervention speech before kindergarten. I had a case worker tell me to my face that I “need to accept that he isn’t college material.” I had a school counselor as late as eighth grade try and tell me that she was “legally barred” from putting him in honors classes. (That was a flat out lie and let’s just say that was a HUGE mistake on her part.)

Now here’s the thing. Brennan has every advantage you can think of. He’s white. He’s upper-middle class. He has hyper-involved parents. He is in one of the best school districts in the country. And most importantly, for every idiot who told me something like I mention above, he had TEN teachers, administrators, case workers, counselors and people in his life who worked 150% for him. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

But the tighter we make the noose, the more children like Brennan, who do NOT have those advantages will fall through the cracks. I don’t fight the Common Core because I think my child is brilliant, but because I’m tired of these one size fits all educational solutions. We’ve done that all through Brennan’s educational life, and I’m just not willing to take the chance that we’re going to do a better job through Katja’s just because it’s being proposed through a Democratic President rather than a Republican one. This goes beyond politics — this is about my kids.

So yes, I’m opposed. Not because I don’t understand it. Not because I think it will make my children look bad. But because I know that children already look bad — and by the time they might get it together and look good the way Brennan could, it might be too late.

Because Brennan is just fine, thank you. The kid who would never speak clearly just finished his role in the fall play. The kid who wasn’t college material is very much going to college. And the kid who was legally barred from taking honors classes just got a 4.1 GPA this quarter while taking four IB classes. Maybe Arne Duncan should have a talk with him.

via Daily Kos: A parent’s response to Arne Duncan.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.