A Teacher in Maine Asks Some Common Core Questions

Jim Fabiano, a 30-year education veteran in Maine, questions the Common Core Standards in a recent op/ed below are a couple of key excerpts.

First he questions the cookie cutter approach:

“The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn.” Does this mean students in New Hampshire should learn and understand the same topics that people in Nigeria learn? Does this mean all of my students are exactly alike in their dreams and expectations? Does this mean all students share the same interests, and if they don’t, should they be forced to learn what the world demands they learn? Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

He also questions who was (and wasn’t) involved in writing the standards:

I sincerely wonder if any classroom teacher was involved. I also wonder that if there were teachers involved,; how much time they spent in any classroom. At my age, I wonder about a lot of things.

I am told the process used to write the standards ensured they were informed by the experience of teachers, content experts, states and leading thinkers, and feedback from the general public. I know I was never asked and I don’t know of any teacher who was asked or know of any parent of any student that was ever asked. Since the last New Hampshire state conference on common core standards was filled with a majority of administrators it is obvious another mistake is being made in that they don’t involve the people who will become the program.

He ends saying this is likely going to be yet another education program which will cost a lot of money and yield few results.