Stars with all the advantages

In 2013, President Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan characterized opponents of the Common Core as “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.” (Washington Post, Answer Sheet, Nov. 16, 2013)

Jessie is that mom. Her son is not a prodigy. Yes, he’s a good math student but most students with a physician father, a college educated stay-at-home mother and a home with all the books and advantages would likely be a good math student, especially this early in their education.

It’s universally understood by educators that many suburban parents think their carefully coached and over cossetted off spring is the next Einstein. Politics (we need the overwhelming support of those suburban parents to get our budgets approved) prevents educators from being honest about the discrepancy between the little Einstein’s actual academic skills and parents’ oversized confidence in those skills.

Compare these little Einsteins’ academic skills to the academic skills of the students performing at the highest levels in the world and we see we’re doing okay but not that great. (Newgeography, 7/25/2013, “High Confidence Not Translating to High Scores for American and European Students”).

These perceptions about our little Einsteins make the Jessies of the world an easy mark for the Loises of the world and their willingness to say anything to hold onto their cushy teaching schedules.