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December 02, 2013

The Press Dropped the Ball on the Common Core

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

NY Commissioner John King Misstepped, But Sure Shouldn't Resign

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

Content-Free Social Studies Standards

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

Could the Common Core Be Bad for Schooling?

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...

September 04, 2013

Four Questions About Common-Core Implementation

Here are four big implementation questions that haven't yet gotten much attention in state and local papers, and that would benefit from a serious look.

August 05, 2013

Why the Common Core Became a Political Football

The wheels on the Common Core bus have developed a visible rattle of late. Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah have withdrawn from assessment consortia. With Tony Bennett no longer state chief in Florida, there's an excellent chance that Florida will bail. The unexpectedly h...

June 26, 2013

Seven Observations on Duncan's Common Core Address

Yesterday, our earnest Secretary of Education delivered a big speech on the Common Core to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. In a move that will surprise pretty much no one, he disregarded my advice from last week on how to tamp down some of the push-back to the Common Core. Instead, he b...

June 20, 2013

A Playbook for the Common Core'ites: Part 2

On Tuesday, I tried to explain how Common Core enthusiasts have gotten themselves into their current fix, where their dazzling, Race to the Top-fueled victories of 2010 and 2011 have given way to a divisive, frustrating slog. Today, the Common Core'ites have some serious challenges. Among these: ...

June 18, 2013

A Playbook for the Common Core'ites: Part I

I've long said that the Common Core strikes me as an intriguing effort that could do much good. So, why am I not on board? Because I think the effort has a good chance of stalling out over the next four or five years. And, because standards and assessments are the backbone of pretty much everythi...

May 30, 2013

Understanding the Chiefs for Change on Common-Core Accountability "Hiatus"

On Tuesday, CCSSO waded into the Common Core "hiatus" discussion, issuing a thoughtful paper which argued that states should proceed with sensible flexibility and called on Secretary Duncan to exercise restraint when interpreting promises coerced by ED as a condition for ESEA waivers. The CCSSO rej...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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