Field testing for the Common Core-aligned PARCC and Smarter Balanced is now underway, and dozens of states are preparing to make consequential decisions based on the results come next spring. I keep getting excited e-mails about all this. Me? I'm frustrated (and a little astonished) that, four y...
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March 26, 2014
March 24, 2014
On the right, the Common Core has been a source of bitter division for nearly two years. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have championed the adoption of these K-12 standards in reading and math, while tea-party critics have savagely denounced the whole thing as misguided and the educational equivalent of Obamacare.
January 23, 2014
On Monday, I penned a column for National Review Online titled "What Ever Happened to 'State-Led'" that seemed to frustrate and puzzle a number of Common Core advocates. I heard from plenty of friends and acquaintances who thought I was unreasonable and unfair.
January 15, 2014
Since the Common Core standards were unveiled in 2010, advocates have insisted that it is a "state-led" effort. President Obama declared in the 2011 State of the Union, "These standards were developed... not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country." In truth, there is a studied dishonesty about the "state-led" rhetoric.
December 20, 2013
I thought it might be fun for the Friday before Christmas week to put up a blog post from last year that has been making me feel a bit prescient about the Common Core rollout. So, here is a blog I penned in May of 2012, "The Fate of The Common Core: The View from 2022."
December 16, 2013
Back at the beginning, in 2009 and 2010, I never would've expected the Common Core debate to get this heated and impassioned. Why? Unlike a lot of folks, it's because I thought (and continue to think) that the Common Core itself just doesn't matter that much. Now, please stay with me a bit before deciding you disagree. I always think of the food pyramid. When the pyramid was unveiled, I'm sure some amped-up nutritionists excitedly thought it would make a huge difference when it came to health and obesity. Turned out: not so much. Most people have never paid a whole lot of attention; after all, it's just a bunch of suggestions assembled through a bureaucratic process.
December 02, 2013
During the past couple months, newspapers and cable news have had a field day analyzing Obamacare's troubles. Firestorms over HealthCare.gov or President Obama's unfounded assurances seemingly sprung from out of the blue. This followed years during which these boiling issues received little media scrutiny, permitting problems to fester. There are important lessons here for K-12's current brouhaha over the Common Core. Introduced in 2010 and adopted by forty-plus states with little notice by the end of 2011, the Common Core has since rocketed into the popular imagination. Headlines are now filled with tales of angry public meetings and legislative clashes in places like Florida, New York, and Georgia.
October 25, 2013
The furor over New York commissioner John King's decision to cancel (and then reinstate) a series of Common Core town halls boiled up again Wednesday, when New York governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in. ... Now, I think King is a terrific commissioner, has offered New York smart leadership at a challenging time, and that it's nuts to talk of him stepping down. But I also think it's important to recognize that King did seriously misstep here, and in a fashion that illuminates some of the blind spots that have plagued Common Core boosters.
September 20, 2013
If our "national experts" can't bring themselves to come out and just say "Kids should know when the Civil War was" it's not clear that "an inquiry arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements" will help kids find out.
September 16, 2013
This might seem like a pointless question. Obviously, committed Common Core skeptics fear that the enterprise will be bad on any number of counts. But let's set those concerns aside for a moment. Let's instead ask, assuming one accepts the pro-Common Core case: Might the whole thing still be bad for...