Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Voice Against Common Core

My good friend Diane Ravitch doesn't like Common Core:
That is because standardized testing guru David Coleman, lead architect of Common Core, decreed upon becoming College Board CEO in 2012 that college-entrance tests would be tightly aligned with the one-size-fits-all national K-12 standards. 

That means even home educators cannot steer clear of the nationalized curriculum if they want their kids to score high enough on the SAT to gain university admission. 

Education historian Diane Ravitch, who has supported voluntary national standards, has blogged that Coleman “is now the de facto controller of American education,” a man with no teaching experience who has decided what all grade-schoolers should know, how they should be relentlessly tested and what they must show they know to go to college.
It's interesting to me that people who squealed against federal mandates during NCLB are now so supportive of Common Core.  Should I wonder what helped this change along, or do I already know?


PeggyU said...

For what it's worth, I have always realized that as a homeschooling parent, there's no avoiding public school imposed standards entirely. For example, we decided that our middle son would obtain a GED, as he needs some way of proving he has "graduated". Have you seen the slant of the questions on environmental science? Since the science portion is multiple choice, you either choose the politically correct option, or lose the points.

Anonymous said...

"That means even home educators cannot steer clear of the nationalized curriculum if they want their kids to score high enough on the SAT to gain university admission."

I think that this is a stretch. The SAT and/or ACT are important today for US college admission, but that doesn't mean that you have to build a curriculum around maximizing those scores.

-Mark Roulo

mmazenko said...

There is no discrepancy on Ravitch's position and criticisms. She's current and astute and appropriately critical.

Darren said...

I haven't claimed there's a discrepancy on Ravitch's position--but your rapid leap to her unneeded defense tells me much about *you*.

maxutils said...

We've had nationally administered tests for college admittance as long as I've been aware that I wanted to go to college...I was always told that as long as I tried hard in school and read a lot, I would perform excellently ... andI did. Without extra preparation ...yes the ACTs went less well than the SATs, but everyone plays by the same standard, and everyone has incentive to do well-unlike standardized tests begot from NCLB. Since education is required of children up to a certain age or level, I see no problem with this. If you believe in public education at all, there should be standards, be they schooled publicly, privately, or at home. If you don't like the standards, work to change them. As a math teacher, I never tried to teach to the test, or even teach test taking strategies ...If you teach the material well, it doesn't matter what test they throw at you.

mmazenko said...

I have no problem being aligned with a scholar of her magnitude. She has read and written more researched, scholarly, academic analyses in a year than most education critics write in a lifetime.

Darren said...

If you like scholarly, academic analyses, I'm sure you're a big fan of Bill Bennett and some of the guys over at Heritage :-)