Three on Three Common Core Debate

Choice Media put together a “debate” of six education policy experts yesterday.

Here’s the video:


Rotherham doesn’t, in my opinion, seem to grasp the depth of the opposition’s complaint.  He also doesn’t grasp the concept of federalism.  Also state-led would mean state legislatures would be involved which wasn’t the case.  Since he admits the Obama Administration’s involvement it would be better for him to say that the Common Core is special interest/trade organization-led and Federally-endorsed.

He also says that they stopped with math and ELA standards.  Is he so out-of-touch with the news that he doesn’t realize social studies standards and science standards are being put together much the same way?

He talks a lot about teachers, teachers, teachers…. parents?  Where do parents and taxpayers have any type of say?

At least admit the process stunk even if you like the standards.

Neal McCluskey… where’s the research?  Exactly.  Common Standards for people who are different?  Does that make sense?  Nope.

Checker Finn has “come to favor” the Common Core State Standards…. was this before or after Fordham received money from Bill Gates?

Sorry can’t take you seriously.

According to Finn, most states “dreamed” up standards.  That has to be one of the most arrogant statements I’ve heard in this debate.  I’m speechless.

Rick Hess points out the assertion that some make that things in education can’t get worse as a fallacy.  He said “I think the world teaches us things can always get worse; given what I see as some of the hubris and the tone deafness on the part of the Common Core advocates I think if I was absolutely forced to say I’m more skeptical or more optimistic at this point, I’d have to say I’m more skeptical.

He’s believes most states will self-correct and states won’t implement anything like what the advocates originally hoped.  “I believe this will be much more modest in scale in 2017 than what most will anticipate today.”

He sees a lot of “intellectual dishonesty” among the champions of the Common Core.

Patricia Levesque supports the Common Core because she’s a mom.  “I have a 2-and-a-half year-old and a four-and-a-half year old.”  We have plenty of moms who are against.  The effort in Indiana to root out the Common Core has been led by two moms.  As a mom she believes that the Common Core State Standards are “better and higher” than many state standards were in the past.

Her four-year-old has autism… so we are going to want Common Core Math Standards in kindergarten to be in line with an autistic child who already knows how to count to 100?  While certainly not all autistic children excellent at math, some really do to the point of being a genius.

So no, we shouldn’t set standards around Levesque’s child.  If he needs to be pushed a gifted learners class or program should be offered.

Jay Greene doesn’t pull any punches.  “I believe the Common Core is a big waste of time therefore I oppose it.”  He doesn’t believe standards reform is a promising avenue for improving schools.  He pointed out a Brookings Institution Study that debunked the Fordham study linking state standards with student achievement.  He said, “standards are nothing but a bunch of words … that are aspirations about what we think children ought to learn and they generally are vague statements that are relatively innocuous and have no controlling power over what schools actually do or what teachers actually do when they close their door.  He believes the Common Core Assessments are a “political bridge too far” and believes it is doomed to failure.

One thought on “Three on Three Common Core Debate

  1. I’m a mom too with an 18 month old and a 5 year old who is in Pre-K and hates it. The push of standards down that low is completely developmentally inappropriate for a lot of kids that young. Many just are not ready to sit still and engage in formal academics, especially boys. My son is one of them and I already see him becoming disenfranchised with learning. He hates to go to school and it has nothing to do with shyness or separation anxiety. He is self-confidence and outgoing, but school seems more about control and organization than fostering any of these kids inherent curiosity and natural love of learning. The standards say my child must know his letters and how to count to 20. Ok, that isn’t bad in and of itself, but the way it is being taught is utterly boring… the same Pearson print-out booklets week after week. And art… don’t even get me started. Most of what I see is coloring in the lines of some pre-made coloring book type sheet. This is not art. This is not creative. And it isn’t being done for the sake of creativity or fun, or any left-brain oriented purpose… they do it to develop hand strength. Why? so they can write their letters and numbers despite the fact that many are physically not ready to perfect this activity. I hate that this focus on an “academic” foundation has to be pushed down so low in the grades that it takes priority away from the activities that REALLY matter for the social, emotional, and physical development of these kids–which is namely PLAY. It is integral to their development and kids who engage in free unstructured play do better in academics. The research is there. And my problem with the common core is that it is untested. And next year seems even worse. I dread kindergarten (the new first grade). These kids too still need play, and a less rigid focus on formal academic learning. But we have to keep moving up the ladder of ‘rigor.’ Let’s make better test-takers. Who cares if we have kids who love to learn? Who cares if we have kids that can’t think for themselves? And who cares if we have a future lacking people that can think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to problems that the future holds?

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