I had a brief conversation with Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity Foundation about the Common Core at RightOnline in Las Vegas, but I don’t know if I’m the one who put it on their radar. The Common Core State Standards was the focus of their August 2012 “Need to Know” newsletter. I’m just glad they focused on it because it seems like it would be a good fit for them to take on as an issue.
Common Core’s catch is that the federal government has a long history of mismanaging education, having required states to raise their academic standards at least five times over the last two decades with little success. President Bill Clinton’s Goals 2000, President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top have all asked states to raise their standards, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has subsequently found no significant improvement in student achievement. Although Common Core has slight structural differences from these past failures, it nevertheless adopts the same failed strategy of trying to reform education by simply raising academic standards, instead of doing the hard work of going school by school to restructure failing systems. Thus, it is sure to reap the same fruitless results since raising standards in the past has not been proven to raise student achievement.