Former Secretary of Education, author, and radio personality William Bennett has been a vocal cheerleader for the Common Core State Standards. He recently authored an op/ed at FoxNews.com that lauded the Every Student Succeeds Act, President Donald Trump, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
He then says something that I find utterly fascinating.
Although daunting, this is not an insurmountable task. Several states have done an excellent job at reforming and improving education outcomes. Take Massachusetts, for example. In the 1990s, the Bay State dramatically raised standards, improved accountability and raised the bar for teacher certification. Within several years, it became the nation’s leader in education and on par with some of the leading countries in the world. (However, there is a legitimate concern today that Massachusetts has begun watering down some of its rigorous standards and that performance is starting to backslide.)
Well, I wonder what caused Massachusetts to backslide? How did they begin to water down their rigorous standards? Hmmmm……
Oh yeah, they adopted the Common Core State Standards. Even the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe at the time said they were dumbing down Massachusetts’ academic standards by replacing them with Common Core. Yes, the same Common Core that Bill Bennett has tirelessly advocated for.
Bill Bennett, thanks for jumping on the bandwagon seven years too late. You are now just noticing what those of us fighting Common Core years ago saw – they are subpar.