Common Core Negates ‘Laboratories of Democracy’

Published August 15, 2010

Greg Forster, a senior fellow with the Indianapolis-based Foundation for Educational Choice, said the Obama administration’s August 2 deadline for states to adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative “comes from people in Washington sending a clear signal that if you don’t get with the program, you’re going to be in trouble.”

“States certainly ought to have standards they should teach to,” Forster said in an interview for the weekly School Reform News podcast. But, he added, “It is tremendously healthy that states compete with each other to demonstrate superior performance in delivering education.”

“One of the best ways to demonstrate the inadequacy of your state’s standards is to compare [them] to a state that has better standards. This is the way people learn about what is an adequate approach to a problem. If everybody has to do it the same way, you destroy the ability to see, well, this approach is better than that approach,” he explained.

“You would think by now we would be past the need to recite the argument for the ‘laboratory of democracy’ approach,” Forster said.

Listen to the complete interview with Forster on the
School Reform News podcast: