Monday, March 24, 2014

Common Core: Its Supporters And Detractors

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 1:30 PM

A sampling of Arizona students will be taking Common Core tests soon to see how they work. (We call it College and Career Ready Standards here. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.) So it's a good time to take a look at who's for Common Core and who's against it. In one segment in this month's Tucson Cable Access show, "Education: The Rest Of The Story," which I host with Ann-Eve Pedersen, we take a look at who are the folks on the three sides of the issue: the supporters, the detractors on the right, and the detractors on the left. Here's the short version.

Supporters include Obama, his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Jan Brewer, John Huppenthal and lots of others along the conservative-progressive continuum. They like it because they think it's good for kids, good for business or a combination of the two.

Detractors on the right include Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Al Melvin, and many others, including most of Arizona's right wing. For them, the Common Core standards are the Feds flying black education helicopters overhead to soften up our children's minds so they'll yield to the will of their socialist overlords. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

Detractors on the left include education historian Diane Ravitch, most people in the Network for Public Education and a sizable number of scholars, educators and parents. I include myself in that number. It's not so much the standards we object to, which are worth taking a serious look at and improving over the years. It's the testing, which will be even more restricting than tests like AIMS and will encourage even more teaching to the test while making it almost impossible to evaluate and reshape the unproven standards.

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