January 16, 2014
IF YOU TAKE AWAY THEIR PHANTASMS WHAT DO THEY HAVE LEFT TO BE SCARED OF?
Is Common Core Really Dangerous? (GRACY OLMSTEAD, January 16, 2014, American Conservative)
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2014 3:31 PMConservatives are out to lampoon and destroy Common Core. Their reasons for this are legion, but their main objections boil down to one giant fear: the centralization of education. As George Will stated in a Thursday Washington Post column, "What begins with mere national standards must breed ineluctable pressure to standardize educational content. Targets, metrics, guidelines and curriculum models all induce conformity in instructional materials." But "must" this centralization truly happen? Are these founded predictions, or phantasmagoric fancies? [...]First: all proponents and opponents of Common Core should take a good look at the standards themselves. When one actually looks at the material, it becomes clear that they focus on skills, not content. To use one analogy: the Common Core does not say how you should teach your child to ride a bike. That is up to your discretion. But Common Core will test your child on their ability to ride the bike proficiently. Thus, one cannot really "adopt Common Core for curriculum"--it doesn't really provide curricular content. One could use it to measure the difficulty and proficiency of one's curriculum, but that's slightly different.