EAG News -
NEW YORK - Politicians are excellent at saying deeply stupid things.
Recently, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was defending the much-hated Common Core when he said, “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, 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, and that’s pretty scary.”
Hi, Arne. Thought I’d give you a little educating of your own.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I prayed what lots of people might consider a strange prayer: “Please let her be smart, but not too smart.”
I was on the verge of “too smart” in early elementary school. I was the smartest in my class most of the time, and I did feel isolated and different. I didn’t want that for her. Intelligence is great, but there’s a reason valedictorians have higher suicide rates than the rest of the population. It’s no fun feeling like no one understands you.
Now let me tell you what I got: a child who is far more gifted than I ever was.
She asked me to teach her to read when she was 2 and to teach her algebra when she was 4. Her preschool director told me that she needed to be skipped a grade. I refused. Didn’t want her to be any more “different” than need be. Then her kindergarten principal called in reading and math specialists to do weeks of testing on her, and at the end of it, he sat me down and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. The assistant superintendent has never seen anything like this. In all our years of education, she is the most gifted child we’ve ever seen and we’re in uncharted territory trying to figure out how to educate her.”
He suggested I skip her, and then still do enrichment on top of that. I said no. He suggested I find a school more geared toward gifted programming. I scrimped and saved and the following year, I did get her into the only public school in my area known for gifted programming. Within two months, I was again sitting down with the superintendent and hearing that she needed to be skipped. She was 6 years old and reading at a 9th grade level, with 8th grade comprehension. Even in this school, she was just too far ahead. I finally gave in and allowed her to move up a grade. She’s doing just fine. Do I think she’s going to cure cancer one day? Heck yes, I do.
I tell you all this, dear Arne, because I’d like to blow up your stupid perception of why we parents and teachers hate the Common Core.
I’m a white suburban mom. Do you think “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were” applies to me? Let’s get it straight: You can throw any test you like at my daughter. She’s going to do wonderfully. Her school is excellent. And I think you can stuff your Common Core where the sun don’t shine.
I will be opting her out of the tests.