Friday, November 29, 2013

Chicago teacher and 'urban mom' responds to Duncan on Common Core

Carolyn Alessio, a teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, has a piece on the Common Core in today's Tribune. Allessio is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. She's also a writer of nonfiction and fiction.

Notice, she refers to the Common Core as a "curriculum" and not just as state standards. I mention this because some, including Ed Sec. Arne Duncan, claim that CC is NOT about curriculum, as if the bevy of tests tied to the standards, not to mention how schools and teachers interpret the standards, doesn't drive what and how teachers teach.

Alessio, who also describes herself as a "white urban mother of children in the Chicago Public Schools," says that Duncan's recent remarks about the opposition of "white suburban moms" to the new Common Core curriculum made her wonder whether the secretary of education had read the sixth-grade state standard for effective "Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas."
She says that at Cristo Rey, "my colleagues and I are fortunate that we implement only Common Core curriculum adjustments that make sense and fit with our overall instructional goals. I have not had to toss 'The Odyssey' back into the 'wine-dark sea"' or excerpt 'Hamlet' down to its greatest-hit soliloquies."  Read Alessio's entire piece here.

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