* "Lieutenant" is one of those words I can never spell. I can spell "lieu." I can spell "tenant." Why can't I remember just to glue together these two familiar, easy words into "lieutenant"??
I was so underwhelmed with Brown that--clutch your pearls, folks!--I gave a hard, honest look at the Republican candidate, Larry Hogan. (Whom I always want to call Hulk Hogan.) I had been told that he was very moderate and did not plan to pursue an agenda with social issues. (Because I refuse on principle to vote for anyone who is unwilling to grant me bodily autonomy or who works to actively undermine my family.) I researched him with an open heart, ready to be persuaded and cross the aisle. Alas, you can relax your grip on your pearls because I was not so persuaded. I found his message to be the usual Republican claptrap about deregulation and tax cuts sans specifics on how either would be accomplished, with much complaining about the current administration and all they've done wrong but very little in the way of constructive commentary on what he'd do differently (aside from the usual taxes! job creators! regulation! blah blah blah).
So I was in a deep state of angst over who to vote for governor. It was actually distressing me. I take voting seriously! And I didn't want to give my support to either candidate. I ended up doing a write-in, which I've never done before, for Heather Mizeur. Part of me was discontent with that too because I felt like I was throwing my vote away. But another part of me said it was my way of stating that I was dissatisfied with the non-progressive, corporatist candidates the Democratic party has been floating in Maryland. We are one of the bluest states in the country; we should be able to have a decent progressive candidate from our party and not this constant march of tools for big moneyed interests.
I feel far more excitement for the local elections. There was one candidate for the House of Delegates who I liked so much that I wish I'd had the time to volunteer for her campaign. If she runs again in two years, I will. She wrote a brilliant take-down of the conservative anti-Common Core message that has been bleated around Carroll County by idiots who, by virtue of deciding to run for public office, should know better. Of course she probably won't win because she is running as a Democrat (although identifying as a "conservative Democrat," despite having the most cutting commentary against the other side's platforms of any candidate I encountered in my research) and Carroll County hasn't sent a Democrat to the Statehouse for something like 20 years. We are one of the reddest counties in Maryland. (Only Garrett County--our westernmost county out in Appalachia--showed less support for Obama in the last election. They're also Steelers fans in Garrett County, so we should probably just annex them to West Virginia and have done with it.)
Common Core is the federal, Obama-supported program of nationwide educational standards. It is up to individual states whether they adopt Common Core; Maryland, of course, did. Notice I said standards, not curriculum. Standards, in eduspeak, are broad goals of what a student should be able to do. Curriculum describes how those standards will be taught or achieved. For some standards, there would be almost infinite ways to craft curriculum to reach them, and that is part of the point: Different districts have different needs and curriculum should respond to that. In Maryland, each county makes its own curriculum.
The conservative line has been that Common Core amounts to a federal takeover of the rights of local districts to make curriculum decisions. Only standards have nothing to do with curriculum aside from providing a very broad goal to reach. Here are some examples of the Common Core standards for English grades 9-10 (ages 14-15):
Reading Literature 1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Reading Informational Text 6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance the point of view or purpose.
Language 2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Ohmygod the federal infusion of liberal ideology into the curriculum through these standards is appalling!!1! Expecting kids to spell correctly is only a small step away from convincing them to institute Sharia law!!11! *eyeroll*
Bearing witness to this blatant ignorance or blatant lies (which is worse??) during this election has been infuriating. It is hard to believe candidates can be so outright wrong about a major program and manage to convince so many people and go virtually unchallenged over it. Mind, the Common Core standards are available to anyone with the skill and will to use Google.
Now what does suck about Common Core is the attendant PARCC assessments. (Note what it spells backward ...) These are shaping up to be a huge waste of money, resources, and instructional time for little in the way of foreseeable benefit. But very little has been said about those (probably because Pearson, the company that makes them, wrote a nice check to the right people).
I have lots of catching up to do. My current class (Society, Class, and Wealth) looks to be lighter on the reading and research than the cosmology class I just finished, and the calligraphy commission is currently chugging north in the capable (eep) hands of the U.S. Postal Service, so maybe I'll get to write those updates? Otherwise, this stretch of life, in retrospect, will join the others in looking blank in my journal while in fact it was anything but.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!