‘Tis the Season for College and Career Readiness

If you’re the parent of a small child like I am, you should really only be thinking about one thing during this holiday season: the welfare of your fellow travelers in life College and Career Readiness.

I’ve done lots of rigorous thinking in recent months, particularly because of mounting concerns that my four-year-old might never be accepted into a respectable college or university and might never have a wildly-lucrative fulfilling career. After all, he has no idea how to operate an iPad or Chromebook, he can only write his letters in cursive (thanks, Montessori preschool, for pretty much preventing him from ever functioning appropriately in life), he has an unreasonable fear of hairdryers, and he only eats from the “starch” food group.

And given that he also firmly believes Santa Claus exists, it’s clear that his ability to reason sucks and that he’ll fail in any attempts to demonstrate Common Core reasoning proficiency in reading, writing, and/or mathematics.

So with another baby coming in just a few months, my husband and I have decided to do everything in our power–starting the moment our second son is born–to ensure that he is College and Career Ready from the get-go. Here’s what we have so far:

  1. No thank you, generic maternity ward blanket. At the event of his birth, my son will be swaddled and capped in College and Career Readiness with a blanket and hat from his grandparents’ alma mater: the University of Pennsylvania. My husband and I both attended wonderful colleges, but neither is Ivy League–which we realize now is completely unacceptable and that we are both failures as a result. Further, we will have our son photographed in this Penn attire, and we’ll display the picture in our house for the rest of his life to serve as a constant reminder that we consider anything other than an Ivy League education to be pathetic.
  2. I have already contacted Shutterfly’s graphic design team to request that they offer birth announcements in the form of tiny newborn business cards; specifically, I have recommended that space for Apgar scores be added below the height and weight fields so prospective employers can compare our son to other minutes-old children. (In the same vein, I have decided to disregard pregnancy weight-gain recommendations, mostly because my four-year-old was only 6 pounds, 14 ounces when he was born. Too scrawny in the eyes of employers looking for a hardier breed of career-ready workers.)
  3. Sitting around in a swing all day is an unacceptable waste of time–so our second son will be directed to walk shortly after he is born so he can Race to the Top before the other babies in the nursery. Let’s all remember that hoofed animals walk within hours of their birth–so…no excuses.
  4. We will request that anyone wishing to send a gift to celebrate our son’s arrival contribute a piece of nonfiction to his personal library, and reading instruction will begin immediately after we arrive at home. Test-prep workbooks, instruction manuals, and collections of Supreme Court decisions are especially welcome.
  5. Or ipads or Chromebooks. We would appreciate those too, as we have already chosen to disregard the irresponsible recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics that advise against screen time for children until they turn 2. For real? How will they pass online kindergarten entrance exams? Our first focus will be on drag-and-drop skills.
  6. Feeding: this child will begin solid foods immediately, because liquid diets are for weirdos and successful people eat real food. (Anyone who fails to understand how eating problems can affect one’s career has obviously forgotten the 1978 Liz Taylor chicken bone incident.)
  7. Binkies: just no.
  8. Potty training begins the day we arrive at home, so if he’s wise, our son will live it up in the hospital while he’s attended to by nurses who are willing to change dirty diapers. Because that’s not happening at my house. Pretty sure no college admissions officers or employers have a favorable opinion of incontinence.
  9. Play: LOL. We have already begun looking for schools that get rid of worthless things like recess, naps, and stupid skits to ensure that every single activity promotes College and Career Readiness.
  10. Child #2 will sleep at night, like a normal person, because naps are a waste of time. Nobody respects a lazy college student who doesn’t wake up until noon, and workers who sleep on the job get replaced by other, more Career-Ready workers. Because productivity.
  11. With regard to newborn screaming: who acts like that? I’ll tell you who: people who want to get kicked out of school or fired from their jobs. This time around, screaming won’t be tolerated in our house–because, again, it’s not conducive to College or Career Readiness. (And FYI: “colic” is a manufactured affliction, the concept of which is obviously perpetuated by incompetent doctors who were just handed their medical licenses after years of rigorless, pre-CCSS education. Seriously…that’s the only explanation they can come up with? “Colic”? Okay.)
  12. We understand that PARCC assessments are only administered in grades 3-11, but we believe that standardization should begin from birth. We are encouraged that PARCC has published K-2 Model Content Frameworks, and we have decided to petition Pearson to hurry up with the appropriately-aligned assessments, for which we will begin test-prepping ASAP. I would also like to formally volunteer to help develop fetus-kindergarten Model Content Frameworks–along with accompanying assessments and data-mining servers on which to store sensitive information.

We will continue to add to our unborn child’s College and Career Readiness Checklist over the course of the next three months in the hopes that we’ll avoid screwing him up in the same way we screwed up our firstborn, who’s obviously destined to live at home, college-educationless and careerless, for the rest of his life.

In the meantime, please enjoy the holiday season–but if you celebrate Christmas and have small children, knock off the “Santa Claus!” and “toys!” and “enjoy your childhood!” and “Elf on a Shelf!” (extra vom) crap before you ruin your kid’s chance at a worthwhile future.

Because more rigorous kids are beating your kids at life.

Start now. It’s not too late.

(Actually, it probably is. Sorry.)


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10 responses to “‘Tis the Season for College and Career Readiness

  1. LG

    Excellent advice, Ani! Our first child is due in June, and we would be the wise parents to get him or her on the right track for college and career. We’ve already decided to create a library of flipped classroom videos to assist in the baby’s learning. He/she will be given daily assessments on the appropriate intervals in which to urinate, eat and sleep. It’s never too early to train a newborn on rolling over, crawling and standing upright. I already have my Google form assessments created to track progress. As well, Youtube has countless videos on how to bathe a newborn. You can be sure our little one will be trained in self-washing techniques from birth. I’m so excited for our child’s future.

    Best wishes to you and your new little one!

  2. LG

    Maybe we could encourage them to assist each other every step of the way in understanding the content through teleconferencing. I think we both can get a 4 in “Establishing a Culture for Learning.” Then they can arrange to apply for separate schools when the time comes! 😉

  3. Julia Sass Rubin

    Brilliant, Ani! Thank you!

  4. booklady

    Dear Ms McHugh, Thanks for a wonderful laugh. Am sure your students will miss you during your leave.
    Have faith re your older child’s future–he’s a double legacy at Penn and that often helps. If his grandparents can gift a few mill in the meantime, that won’t hurt.

  5. We need to get rid of CCSS and create healthy learning environments that provide for children’s holistic developmental needs. Their social and emotional development will be the greatest determining factor in future success, not their ability to take tests. We need healthy elementary school environments like Montessori and Reggio Emilia that inspire learning, where where children can thrive, and not just “survive”.

  6. colomom

    Best, most rigorous advice EVER. Thank you for the laughs..wiping the coffee off my screen.

  7. Nina Seifert Bishop

    Wahahaha! Hit the nail on the head! At the rate education reformers are going; we’ll be able to replace Congress with toddlers.

  8. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 12-28-14 | Lady Liberty 1885

  9. Pingback: Free PARCC test prep delivered to your phone from your friendly NJPTA! | teacherbiz

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