Common Core just more of the same

Published November 12, 2012

When it comes to the national Common Core State Standards, people deserve to know the rest of the story. The article “Students will face new standards with tougher tests,” in Saturday’s Lake Sentinel, includes assertions by Common Core boosters that are debatable.

First, the online national tests under development with federal money have not been released yet. How can anyone credibly say they are more rigorous than existing standardized tests? For certain with the feds footing the bill, they will be subject to influence from well-connected education interests in Washington.

As for the Common Core “ramping up” academics by two grade levels, how can that be with Algebra I being placed in grade nine instead of grade eight, thus making it impossible for most students to reach calculus, as elite universities expect? Or how is the mandatory purge of much classic literature from English classes in favor of informational texts such as recipes (an example given in the article) consistent with the elevation of standards for learning?

Lake County Schools Superintendent Susan Moxley’s observation that the Common Core model is based on teachers being facilitators rather than transmitters of knowledge is just another sign that this supposedly new paradigm is the old progressive education being recycled yet again.

Robert Holland Senior fellow for education policy, The Heartland Institute, Chicago