there is no “bad at.”

How are we teaching our children? How are we raising them?

Are we giving them–even if accidentally–signals that they are inherently different from one another in their cognitive capacity?

Are we teaching them how to work hard, how to learn, how to study, how to make mistakes with grace (and humor) and recover from them with enthusiasm?

Do you know how to do all those things?

I for one, am continuing to learn.

Give this a read. Please.

The Myth of ‘I’m Bad at Math’ – Miles Kimball & Noah Smith – The Atlantic.

Golden Rule Days

School starts on Monday for our kids. We stopped by the school today and got a peek at their class lists, walked by or into their classrooms. I printed out a new car-circle sign. It was exciting, to see how excited they are to get back.

I’m going to be less involved with the PTA this year, and hopefully working again from home. And because we may move at some point this academic year (or not, because that is how I qualify every sentence I utter right now), I’m intent on paying laser-like attention to what the kids are learning this year, here, so that wherever we end up, they don’t fall too far behind.

A friend shared an article that Common Core Standards in public school education are unraveling–they’re expensive, teachers/administrators don’t quite know how to implement them, blah, blah, blah, blah. Both “Tea Party” membersĀ and “liberals” can be found to be against Common Core Standards. How dare the federal government tell states what to do? (States volunteered to follow them, but whatever.) And how dare schools be given unfunded mandates when they’re already so strapped for resources? (I’d happily pay more taxes to support improvements in public education. So would my highly tax-averse husband. Ask us. We have our checkbook ready.)

I find this profoundly disturbing. I can’t even pinpoint why, exactly, other than the fact that I found the concept of Common Core to be comforting, given how often our children might have to relocate from state to state and public school to public school.

I am not an educator, I don’t know enough about Common Core Standards and education policy to know whether or not they are the “right” way to improve our education system.

I just don’t want our children to be penalized because we have to move among states who adopt the standards and states who may ultimately not.

We could send the kids to private school. I’m sure that’s what those on the far right and even perhaps wealthy members of the far left would do. We could home school.

I just don’t like those options on principle. I don’t like opting out. Not every family has that option.