Put Down the Common Core Kool-Aid

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on March 7, 2013 3 Comments

kool-aidJoy Pullman has to be one of my favorite people who writes about the Common Core.  I didn’t realize that she was an Indiana resident until today.  She recently wrote this op/ed for one of her hometown newspapers, The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette

The first couple paragraphs of her piece articulates the skepticism we should have when somebody proposes a silver bullet answer to our public education woes.

As soon as someone tells you something will save education, hide your children, hide your wife and check your back pocket.

Because education deals with children and the American dream, it’s a land of magical thinking. The latest unproven fad is called Common Core.

No field testing… no field testing… no field testing… that should have been enough to halt the brakes on this madness before it was implemented pretty much everywhere except for some states who had Governors that didn’t join in the group collective, who were willing to ask questions and actually exercise some independent thought.

Fancy that, Governors, thinking for themselves instead of buying into an empty promise with fancy talking points.

Pullman outlines some of those arguments:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has whipped conservatives into agreement: It “will prepare our students for success in college and their careers,” he wrote. It will help close the achievement gap between rich and poor children, supporters insist.

Its tests will “redeem assessment in the hearts and minds of teachers and parents,” said David Coleman, one of the Core’s four chief writers.

Next they’ll be telling us it multiplies bread and walks on water.

Well before anyone believes the Common Core to be the savior of education they would have considered the cost right?

Wrong.  Pullman cites Rick Hess’s complaint about the Common Core.

Rick Hess, a think tanker in touch with state superintendents, lawmakers and school leaders across the country, called their “eerie confidence” in something no one has tested the “Common Core Kool-Aid.”

Remember the last time lawmakers prophesied an education miracle? It was called No Child Left Behind.

All that accomplished was to increase federal education spending 64 percent, occupy schools with 6,680,334 more hours of paperwork, and infuriate teachers and parents by its ridiculous pretense that a law can phantasmagorically eradicate refusal to learn, poor parenting, children’s different intellectual abilities and so forth.

It’s time to put down the Common Core Kool-Aid, back away and look at these standards and the process that led to their implementation in a new light.

Photo Credit: Earl McGehee via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Comments (3)

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  1. David_Lloyd810 says:

    No field testing? I find that difficult to believe, since educators tend to go overboard studying every new idea. I’m also confused about the “magical” criticism. I don’t see any specific criticisms offered. I just see whining about having standards. Am I missing something?

    As I understand the common core standards, they are a set of minimal educational standards that individual schools use as a starting point as they design their own standards for their individual communities. As a homeschooling parent, I consulted the Indiana Core 40 standards, but I used the State’s advanced placement standards as the starting point for my own standards. Some of those standards were a challenge to meet in a homeschool setting, especially standards for speech, PE, and Chemistry, which required special equipment and community involvement to accomplish.

    Reference consulted:

    National Governor’s Association, & Council of Chief State School Officers (2012). Common core state standards initiative: Preparing America. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/

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