Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Common Core

First it was "A Nation at Risk."  Then under Pres Bush it was "outcome-based education" with nation-wide curriculum goals.  Then during Clinton's term, the name was "Goals 2000."  Then came the younger Bush's "No Child Left Behind."  The current reincarnation of national standards is "Common Core."  I'm sure the proponents of these plans think each plan is different and unique and wonderful, while the Other Guy's Plan is bad bad bad.

But all I see is the feds taking control of education.  Whether the nationalized goals are excellent or wretched -- it doesn't matter.  Control of education should be LOCAL.

In Indiana two moms got involved in fighting the Common Core, encouraging their state to back out of the program and say "no thank you" to the wad of cash with which the feds are attempting to bribe the states to go along with the program.

Two comments:

Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle did not get involved in opposing Common Core because of anything Michelle Malkin or Glenn Beck said to rile them up, but because of what they saw happening in their own children’s  Catholic  school. When experts or politicians said that Common Core would not lead to a surrender of local control over curriculum, Heather and Erin knew better. (Ironically, the leverage in Indiana was Tony Bennett’s school-choice program, which made state vouchers available to religious schools, but only if they adopted state tests — which were later quietly switched from ISTEP to the untried Common Core assessments.)

Got that?  These moms didn't even have their kids in public school.  But the school voucher system (which many conservatives are FOR) was what allowed the State to dictate curriculum to the private schools.

That's critical.  It's critical to decision-making in our parochial schools, our private secular schools, and our homeschools.  Taking government money is setting you up for submitting to government testing and government standards.

So why are so many good conservatives, from Jeb Bush to Rick Snyder, supporting Common Core? Many conservatives signed on to a clever strategy that asked them to endorse, not the specific standards, but the idea of high “internationally benchmarked” national standards. It is a principle of psychological persuasion that, once you act, in however small a manner, you will feel cognitively compelled to justify your action. 

So conservatives are concerned with lousy results from the school system.  They cry for higher standards and more control.  But "more control" means putting the federal government in charge.  And then ... look what we get.   But because people have made up their minds that they're in favor of "higher standards" and school-choice vouchers, they continue to support programs that are costly (both in terms of children's educations and in terms of tax-dollars).  And thus, the liberals and the conservatives both fight for more federal regulation of what happens day-by-day and hour-by-hour in kids' schools.

Something is wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Susan,

    From what I have read and heard the insidious thing about Common Core is that it has nothing to do with whether a school takes government money. The guy who was over the development of Common Core is now over the S.A.T. I have heard that he is revamping the College entrance exam so that if you don't use the Common Core curriculum you won't be able to make a good grade on the S.A.T. This is why so many private schools are using the curriculum.