Parents, are you frustrated with standardized testing? Wish your schools could find some better ways to evaluate your kids' progress? Want to know how effective your school is but without putting your child through the torture of test prep? Well, here's an enlightening little quip for you. Education Secretary Arne Duncan thinks "white, suburban moms" hate standardized testing because it proves your kids aren't geniuses. (Record scratch) Derr, come again, Secretary Duncan? An asshat says what?
Okay, that was immature. I resorted to name-calling. But come on! I can't believe he let those words leave his mouth. I mean, tell us how you really feel about white, suburban moms, Arne. Ugh, here's how he put it. Duncan finds it "fascinating" that opponents of Common Core State Standards include:
... white suburban moms who -- all of a sudden -- [discovered that] their child isn't as bright as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were.
Yeah, that's exactly why any parent opposes the standards. Because we were all under the delusion that our kids were brilliant until these dastardly tests proved us wrong. Curses! There go my dreams of an early retirement after raising the next Steve Jobs. It's all because of those Common Core State Standards!
Give me an effing break. Okay, I'm not a white, suburban mom myself. (I live in Brooklyn, and I'm Latina, so ... whatever.) But I have several friends who are white, suburban moms. NOT THAT THEY ALL THINK EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. There is no Central Mind Meld for White Mommies that I know of. But the moms I know who oppose curriculum standards and testing aren't status-obsessed freaks whose self-worth depends on their children getting third-party genius certification.
Many of the parents (because it's dads, too) who oppose curriculum standards and testing are concerned about the quality of their kids' education. Maybe they feel it shouldn't necessarily be a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Maybe they think their kids should be evaluated on something other than filling in bubbles. A lot of it is about how test prep has taken over the school day and left little room for independent thinking and extra curriculum that used to seem pretty basic, like physical education.
Instead of slamming an entire demographic, I think Mr. Duncan needs to do a little listening. He thinks the standardized tests are telling parents something they don't want to hear? Maybe parents are saying something Duncan doesn't want to hear -- but he needs to hear it if he's going to do his job effectively.
Anyway, Duncan apologized and said that "children from every demographic across this country need a well-rounded, world-class education." And he acknowledged that suburban schools have struggles and "we need to have an honest conversation about that." Well great -- but this was a terrible way to start that conversation.
What do you think of Arne Duncan's statement about white, suburban moms?
Image via CNN