Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What's Wrong With Common Core?

I can't speak for the English standards, only the math standards.  Those aren't as good or as rigorous as what California gave up, and the strongly implied suggestion that so-called discovery learning is the approved way to "teach" isn't so great, either.

But don't take my word for it:
Like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the EPA’s regulatory assault on energy production, Obama’s anti-suburban moves, American policy in the Middle East and other fundamental transformations, Common Core is so big and sprawling a change that it’s often tough to see it whole. That problem has just been solved by Drilling through the Core, a book that’s bound to become the go to handbook of the Common Core’s opponents.

Drilling through the Core is a collection of essays by the most informed and prominent critics of the Common Core, including Sandra Stotsky, Ze’ev Wurman, William Evers, and R. James Milgram. It includes a wonderful treatment of the Founders’ views on the study of history by James Madison biographer Ralph Ketcham.

But what sets the book apart is the 80 page introduction by Peter Wood. Calmly and with crystal clarity, Wood explains and connects nearly every aspect of the battle. It’s all here, from the most basic explanation of what Common Core is, to the history, the major arguments for and against, and so much more. The controversies over both the English and math standards are explained; the major players in the public battle are identified; the battle over Gates Foundation’s role is anatomized; the roles of the tests and the testing consortia are reviewed; concerns over data-mining and privacy are laid out; the dumbing-down effect on the college curriculum is explained; as is the role of the Obama administration and the teachers unions.
There's plenty more, go read the whole thing.

Update, 9/30/15Support for Common Core is eroding:
What’s the bottom line? At least three things are clear. First, sentiment is highly sensitive to how the question is asked. Depending on which of the above questions one selects, it’s possible to argue that the public supports the Common Core by more than two to one or that it opposes it by more than two to one. This should remind us to take any particular set of poll results with more than a few grains of salt. 

Second, support for the Common Core remains positive but exhibits a clear downward trend.
Like Obamacare, it will get even less popular as people learn more about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

invisibleserfscollar.com has traced the whole mess back a hundred years, to the efforts to create the "New Soviet Man". It's not about academics as much as it is about the proper attitudes and emotions toward the role of the individual (think cog in the wheel, toiling for the collective) in the greater society. The aim is transformation. Maximizing individual potential is not important and not desired. She's a lawyer and the heavy research is all linked.