While at the gym this morning, I enjoyed watching this Morning Joe segment featuring NYC Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn. But Jon Meacham's question for Quinn about her education agenda nearly caused me to fall off the treadmill in annoyance. Meacham says, "We have a big national moment here with the introduction of Common Core Standards that are going to test students on what they know, it's a newish approach..."
Um, really? Last I checked, we've been testing students annually in grades 3-8 and once in high school since the passage of NCLB in 2001. Not to mention that Common Core standards--being standards, and not assessments--do not test students. This may sound pedantic, but it's actually pretty critical in the current landscape to differentiate between the Common Core State Standards and the federally funded consortia developing assessments aligned to them. As some states have begun to pull back on their commitment to the consortia, it's critical to understand that this does not have to be synonymous with rejecting Common Core. I guess I should be glad that Meacham thinks education is "the foundation for any kind of economic growth," but if it's actually that important, shouldn't he at least attempt to know what he's talking about when asking questions about it?