Standardizing Education – Common Core’s Hidden Agenda

Any US teachers out there with thoughts about this? I’ve thought all along that while common standards are wise and practical, those common standards would lead to a common test and a common collection of data and a bazillion dollars to whomever devised, sold and maintained the system. The law of unintended consequences, perhaps?

Creative by Nature


Anthony Cody’s article from last year Classrooms of the Future: Student Centered or Device Centered offers a very important analysis, looking at the hidden agenda of Common Core and the technology industry. Anthony believes that the goal of “aligning” tests and curriculum with Common Core is to “standardize” education the way computers and other forms of technology are standardized. This helps to explain why Bill Gates has poured so much money into Common Core and testing.

Think about your PC, all top-selling computers (with the exception of Apple) have the same standard design. That’s what allows Gates’s Microsoft company to maintain a global monopoly with their operating system. Whether your computer is made by Dell, Sony, HP, Samsung or Toshiba they are all configured to the same global industry standards, aligned with Microsoft Windows’ software.

Gates and others from the business, technology and financial industries see education as a new multi-billion dollar international market, especially if the Common Core standards go global. There…

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Won’t you be my Liebster?

liebster-1-e1422620241514Liebster means sweetheart, so the nomination process is merely spreading some blog love. Thank you to two kind and generous blogging sisters who nominated me for the Liebster Award. The first nomination came from Goodwoman at The second came from
I have to admit, it’s taken me a while to get around to this item as I have some mixed feelings about burdening someone with the work involved in accepting this award, so if you don’t want to accept, no worries. Continue reading “Won’t you be my Liebster?”

What to do about Mom and Dad?

tmp_1129-20150220_141651-1039217110As Abby and Red Whitshank start showing troubling signs of their age, their four children gather to decide what’s to be done. The family’s history and dynamics are revealed when the siblings, in-laws and grandchildren interact. As always, Anne Tyler’s strength shines as her characters muddle through and bristle at lifelike situations in very real ways. Recommend.

Historical fiction? Regency romance? Wilma’s got you covered!

enemy-hands memory1

My friend, author Wilma Counts just sent this message. I am posting it here as a favor. My book club read her compelling IN ENEMY HANDS last fall and loved it. You can find out about her other wonderful books and read her blog here:

“My editor and his staff tell me I am not using social media enough to get the word out about my books. (They don’t seem to know what a techno klutz I am!)  Anyway, I figure if I can persuade even half of my friends and former students to each tell just TWO of THEIR contacts about my new releases–one in Sept, 2014, and on coming in March), I could be on the bestseller lists in no time!  Check me out on Amazon or at Wilma Counts–Author. And do let me know  what you think.”

Take good care of yourself

blog love yourselfThe way in which we care for ourselves–including how we talk to ourselves–is critical to our health and well-being. How often have we beaten ourselves up for overindulging? For not exercising? For gaining weight on vacation? How often do we tell ourselves we are weak or stupid when we are really just beautifully and imperfectly human?

Why are we not as gentle and compassionate with ourselves as we are with our friends and loved ones? I’ve often said that if we said to our friends the things we say to ourselves, we wouldn’t have any friends.

This article and info-graphic from The Huffington Post show the good science behind practicing self-acceptance and how to get better at it. Practicing Self-Acceptance

A storied life, indeed

storied life

“We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.”

A beautifully crafted book for bibliophiles or anyone who just loves bookstores. A love story, to be sure, but an unconventional one involving unlikely (and perhaps, mildly unlikeable) characters.  The power of books and love and a common sensibility to make us better, more human. You’ll come away with some new additions to your must read list. Recommend.

A life well-seasoned

seasoned life coverJanet Sheridan hits just the right balance between poignancy and humor in her memoir as she recounts childhood embarrassments and struggles with advancing age. I knew Ms. Sheridan as a caring and inspiring educator. I was lucky to have taught while she served as principal of my school. She was a gifted noticer of details, always finding something to say beyond the generic “good job.” Those skills, as well as the seeds of her self-deprecating good humor, work ethic and kindness are evident here. This is a lovely little book of bite-sized, tender memories and clever observations. I recommend it.

Here’s the link at amazon: A Seasoned Life

It makes me feel like dancing

When I started wearing my Fitbit, I was pretty much convinced that I was already moving enough to maintain my weight. After losing 35 pounds twelve years ago with Weight Watchers, my healthy eating and activity habits are pretty well-documented and well…habitual. I refuse to eat less than my recommended budget. My mantra: Don’t do anything to lose weight that you aren’t willing to do to keep it off.
Moreover, I’ve been a WW leader for seven years. I know this stuff. But I’m also in my sixties and retired. And the scale was giving me feedback I didn’t like. But seriously, shouldn’t that sweaty 45 minutes on the elliptical four times a week, a yoga class, a long walk every Friday, little walks in between, and living in a three-story house be enough? I mean I’m not THAT sedentary, right? Continue reading “It makes me feel like dancing”

The Year of Pleasures, a little too sweet

“There is love in holding,” he’d said. “And there is love in letting go.”blog year of pleasures

The story follows a widow’s first year after her beloved husband’s death. Elizabeth Berg always writes women’s voices clearly and accurately. You can hear them. You know them. She’s also excellent with likeable characters, details and descriptions. But this book just didn’t provide enough tension or conflict to make it a really good story. No really tough choices, no high stakes. Even for a Berg fan, this one just fell a little flat.