Is Education Going Back to the USSR?

soviet-flag-waivingThe New Hampshire Union Leader published a guest op/ed from a teacher who identifies herself as a liberal.  Diane Sekula is a teacher in Hooksett, NH and she was responding to a published article that said Common Core is a conservative flashpoint.

Sekula writes:

I come from a staunch Democrat family. By most people’s standards, I would be considered liberal. I am also, however, very much against Common Core. Public dissatisfaction with Common Core is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of importance for anyone interested in doing what’s best for the children of New Hampshire.

She points out that this current path that education is on is one she saw in the former Soviet Union.  Wait a minute… a liberal bringing up Communism?!?! Are we sure she’s not a closet tea party activist?  (Just kidding…)

During my time teaching with the Peace Corps, Moldova was at a point of transitioning from a Communist society to a democratic society. I was instructed to help teachers incorporate opportunities for individual thinking and creativity into their lessons, as this was not done under Soviet rule.

Under Soviet rule, everyone was taught the same thing, testing was everything and you were labeled because of it. Teachers and students were still largely operating through this system while I was there. I would hear comments from teachers such as, “Don’t bother with him, he can’t do it.” There was no discussion of individual learning differences, the impact of hunger, other outside influences or whether the standards, lessons or materials were working. Is this not what we have now with Common Core?

The day last fall when I heard that administrators went around to math teachers’ classrooms at my school and took away their old texts, manipulatives and other materials, leaving them only with the new, Common Core-aligned math materials, my blood froze. What happened to differentiation, professional experience and judgment, and inspiring students with creative and fun lessons?

I’ve avoided using terms like “Communist Core,” etc. because it seems like an overly partisan approach to opposing Common Core.  That said I find it fascinating to read this comparison from a teacher who actually experienced Soviet-style education.  So, according to this teacher, we’re going back to the USSR.  Based on how she described education in Moldova I can see her point.  Heck, Common Core replaced the foundations of Euclidian geometry with a method that a school for gifted students in Moscow created, tried and then jettisoned when it failed. (See Ze’ev Wurman’s review of the Common Core Math Standards)

Be sure to read the rest.

Note: I don’t say it often enough, but a mega hat-tip to Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute who finds article like the one I’m sharing below and emails them out to his list.  He’s helped to spark many blog posts.

One thought on “Is Education Going Back to the USSR?

  1. It is wonderful to finally find some teachers willing and able to speak up about what is actually going on in so many school districts. Things such as this have been ongoing for “Decades!” The State of New Hampshire has received many a favor, of our own federal agencies, and the feds protect state officials,if they choose to behave so unethical. The feds should have investigated into the concerns of parents,years ago. Teachers and administrators have been hiding many a process from the public’s view and now they are finally starting to speak up. Maybe,its’ too late to request accountability and some civility of Governor Hassan. She had “veto” power and she used it. That’s how personal and political agendas develop and are supported by state officials in the State of New Hampshire. So many state officials are starting to whine about the actions and practices of Governor Hassan. The state may be reaping some unethical benefits because of how they have treated some children, and so many parents, in the past. You should check out the State of Corruption in New Hampshire Facebook page. The fraud and corruption that has been supported by some of the highest of wage earners employed in the New England Region seems to cost so many citizens,plenty! The Union Leader Newspaper is at the root of so much of the misguided information forwarded on to the citizens of New Hampshire. Media malpractice=Political malpractice involving legal malpractice and judicial chaos. The price that I paid for enrolling my children in the Merrimack N.H. School district was disturbing to say,the very least. The price we paid after the unexpected death of my own husband and the retaliation that became involved in many a process is disgusting. New Hampshire: What goes around generally comes around. Enjoy the ride!

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