Reinventing a Square Wheel, Part I Can’t Count That High

So Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had this to say to opponents of the Common Core:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

Look, I call lots of people stupid on this blog–I do have “Fucking Morons” as a category. But I’m not trying to convince the aforementioned Fucking Morons. Duncan certainly didn’t help squelch the opposition to the Common Core (and this is the same administration that shat all over former Energy Secretary Wu for discussing sea rise and global warming. Which, as the kids like to say, is a thing). All that being said, I’m pretty certain I’m just about the only liberal, possibly one of a handful of Americans, who thinks the problem with the Common Core is that it’s not rigorous enough. It’s unfortunate that the Common Core is poorly designed and that it is being linked to neo-liberal education ‘reform’ (which reformers themselves don’t subject their children to), because we should have rigorous, shared standards.

Why? Because it has worked in Massachusetts, a state that, since the adoption of such a set of standards, year in and year out scores very high (or at the top) in every single demographic group.

For the life of me, I do not understand why people felt the need to reinvent the damn wheel–and poorly at that. Most states in the Union could do far worse than imitating Massachusetts’ educational system, lock, stock and barrel.

Though this does seem to be the modus operandi for the Obama Administration. So much for that states as laboratories of democracy idea…

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2 Responses to Reinventing a Square Wheel, Part I Can’t Count That High

  1. becca says:

    Yeah, cause it worked so well when they brought the Massachusetts healthcare insurance system to the rest of the states. 😉 or so goes the rhetoric.
    Rigorous shared standards are sane enough, testing (which such standards will put on steroids) may be hurting more than helping.
    Duncan is a fucking moron, and this gaffe is only a tiny part of it.

  2. Carissa says:

    I am all for standards, and I have no objection to common standards. As a country, we need them. I can also separate “reform” from the standards. It is possible to understand that the drumbeat of union busting, teacher bashing, etc is BAD, while at the same time understanding that many states / school districts have sub-par standards (especially when it comes to science).

    Why every child educated in our country isn’t taught the same core curriculum, while at the same time leaving the teacher to make the decision on how best to do this, is beyond me.

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