What We’re Watching: Common Core – The Great Debate



By Education Next 10/09/2013

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A panel at the Cato Institute recently debated the pros and cons of the Common Core standards. Supporting the common core were Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute. Opposing the standards were Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute and Emmett McGroarty, Executive Director Preserve Innocence Project, American Principles Project.

—Education Next




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  • diane watson says:

    Get the facts straight. Maryland hasn’t started testing yet. No state has because the PARCC assessment on the Common Core will not be available until 2014-15

  • PhillipMarlowe says:

    Even better, watch “special interests”, aka parents, students and teachers query New York Commissioner of Education John King, who bolts much like Ambassador John Bolton did when grilled by students at Oxford:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P_Eiz406VAs
    Here is what one father, Mr. Jackson, said: (minute 12)

    I have an eight year old son with a giant imagination. He likes telling stories and creating things. He’s extremely bright, but he’s not the most book-smart kid. He’s bright in other ways. He attends third grade in the Cornwall School District. He hates going to school. He hated it last year, and this year, with a great teacher, he’s getting through it. The work that comes home, and the work that the teachers are being forced to teach, is so clinical and boring and confusing, that I refuse to believe that the coursework was written by people with degrees and/or experience in early childhood education. (cheers and applause). The coursework is geared towards the few kids in the class that would have done well in math regardless. The rest of the kids are being made to feel dumb and its abusive, with the kind of testing, and the fact that the teachers have no flexibility or time to do anything creative in their classrooms.

    I understand the need to make our children better in math and science, for the future of our country. But there is no reason why you need to affect every part of their schooling, which this Common Core is doing. Everything from the math work being made up of long-winded rails, to eight year-olds needing to learn proofreading marks as if they were getting a master’s in teaching. I read in the New York Times article, where you attributed your path to some special teachers in your life, that had you play a sportscaster at a fake news desk. With this new curriculum there is no room for imagination or play as it’s all business.

    All the kids are stressed out. The teachers in my district are scared for their jobs. They won’t sway from the curriculum, they won’t debate it or entertain any kind of talk about it to see if anything can be adjusted to make it more moldable. The three times this year that I brought up very specific problems with my son’s amazing teacher about something that didn’t seem right with the Common Core, I was told that my son needed to know this a certain way for the state tests – end of story. Mr. King, your children go to Montessori school… (applause)

  • Kelly Valmore says:

    I think it is less about what students need to know and more about how they learn. The common core is so prescriptive and the modules so complex that teachers do not have time to be artful teachers. How are teachers engaging students and creating a life long love of learning…too many public school children hate school. Why is this? The CC is only going to make this worse for students. Check out Mindsets by Carol Dweck…the whole education system has a “fixed mindset” while it should be growth if we really want true thinkers.

  • Kelly Valmore says:

    Thanks Philip, we are on the same page. I will check out your link. Check out this video from Angela Ducktworth and also Carol Dweck.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit.html

  • Anne Clark says:

    I watched the video, and all I can say is that you can’t argue with people (like CATO and the commenters above) who make up their own “facts”.

    Sorry to tell you Phillip and Kelly that what you’re talking about has nothing to do with the Common Core and these types of things are happening because we have incompetent people working in education.

    Common Core didn’t cause that, and Common Core can’t fix that – except that it will be clear when some schools succeed under Common Core that they are doing something right, and those that are failing will be exposed.

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