Hysteria about Common Core teaching and testing has gripped suburban moms, writes Laura McKenna in The Atlantic. She likens it to anti-vaccination fears.
Millions of children will take new Core-aligned tests this spring. “Conspiracy theories . . .have grown out of parents’ natural instinct to protect their children from bureaucracies and self-styled experts,” writes McKenna, who’s a suburban mom herself.
White, middle-class parents, often very involved in their kids’ education “worry that they won’t be able to help kids with homework, because the new learning materials rely on teaching methods foreign to them,” she writes. They feel powerless to stop the juggernaut.
Social media fans the fears.
There are those Facebook posts promoting articles with click-bait titles like “Parents Opting Kids Out of Common Core Face Threats From Schools,” or “Common Core Test Fail Kids In New York Again. Here’s How,” or “5 Reasons the Common Core Is Ruining Childhood.”
I can picture it in my head: articles with stock photos of children sitting miserably at a desk or ominous images of broken pencils.
Teachers across the country, including those in her suburban New Jersey district, are turning against the Core, especially if scores are tied to teacher evaluations, writes McKenna. That’s influenced parents.
Some states have pulled out of the Common Core. “More than half of the 26 states that initially signed onto the PARCC exam in 2010 have dropped out,” notes McKenna. A dozen states will use the test this spring, while 17 states will take the rival SBAC. The rest will use their own tests.