Two Thoughts on the NYT Common Core Article

In a NY Times article about the adoption of the Common Core educational standards, Motoko Rich writes the unmentionable:

“It’s going to take time, and it’s going to take a lot of work,” said David Driscoll, former commissioner of education in Massachusetts, which raised its own standards in the late 1990s and faced a falloff in state test scores before seeing them steadily climb. Today, Massachusetts leads the country in scores on exams administered by the federal Department of Education and ranks close to some countries frequently cited as world leaders in academic performance.

Rich apparently didn’t get the Very Serious Person memo–you’re not supposed to tell people that! If you do, we can’t define the problem as one of personnel management. So good for Rich.

The other thing, which is left out of the article, is that the Common Core standards aren’t very rigorous compared to Massachusetts’ state standards. As is often the case in U.S. policy, rather than copy a system that works (Massachusetts), we reinvent the wheel–and it ends up being lumpy. Better than nothing, but we could do–and have done–much better.

Plagiarism isn’t always bad…

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