Comments 4

  1. Well said Ed! The opposition fear that I hear most is the “prescribed content of the curriculum.” Is it true that many states are now moving toward more flexibility in the content area?

    1. My understanding is the CCSS has suggested content but states and local schools still have the authority to choose the content they want to use to help students meet the standards. Thanks, Marion!

  2. I am presently working in an online school where the controversy over common core is part of the warp and woof of everyday life. On one hand our company had shirts made up proudly exclaiming that our curriculum is “uncommon” and at least once a week I find myself helping a (formerly) public school parent to transition into their new roll as home school parent using our curricula who sites this very issue as their reason for defection. On the other hand, I have yet to find anyone–whether in our organization or outside it–who is able to pin down specific, substantive issues with common core beyond the fact that it 1) represents a break with the way some subjects used to be taught and 2) its pedagogical approach is–if not untested–at least less tested than the current approaches–which are two ways of saying the same thing.

    My own (limited) research uncovered the point made in this article, that the only firm charge that can be made against common core is political–related to the states’ rights issue–rather than pedagogical. Therefore, it seems that as charged as the debate might seem, there remains precious little fire at back of all the smoke–unless your concern is Constitutional separation of powers.

  3. Ed – Thanks for the article describing the CCSS. One point that I think might be worth mentioning (although possibly beyond the scope of your article) is the connection between the CCSS and updated standardized tests — I believe in Iowa they will be the Smarter Balanced tests (www.smarterbalanced.org). My understanding is that if a state adopts the CCSS then they are required to use certain tests to report on student growth. Previously, states had more control over what assessments would be used to report for NCLB. Also, the federal government incentivized CCSS adoption by granting waivers for some NCLB mandates if states adopt the CCSS. (http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-sets-high-bar-flexibility-no-child-left-behind-order-advanc)

    So although the CCSS brings rigor and commonality to education throughout the United States, in my opinion, it does come with a few strings attached.

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