Finally, Some Sense About Educational Standards: Ohio Is Copying Massachusetts

Since the Common Core was first proposed, I’ve been arguing that, rather than reinventing a square wheel, states should just adopt the Massachusetts state educational standards. After all, Massachusetts has one of the best educational systems in the world (hopefully, the new ‘reforms’ adopted by the state to get Race to the Top money won’t damage what Massachusetts has accomplished). While I don’t think standards have played that big a role in Massachusetts’, erm, race to the top, if you’re going to adopt standards, adopt ones that seem to work.

Carol Burris writes this about how to fix the Common Core (boldface mine):

The question that states face, then, is what should they put in place of the Common Core. The logical option of going back to former standards and gradually revising them will earn the wrath and punishment of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, as Oklahoma found out after it pulled out of Common Core this past summer and the Education Department decided that the state would lose its waiver from No Child Left Behind. Ohio lawmakers have put forth a bill to adopt the former Massachusetts standards; whether Duncan will approve what were considered the most challenging standards in the United States is anyone’s guess. Logic has not distinguished the Duncan Department of Education.

Mind you, there’s a lot of money to be made with new standards, new tests based on those standards, and the textbooks required to do well on the high-stakes tests based on those tests (how anyone can claim with a straight face that the Common Core is ‘just standards’ and not a de facto curriculum escapes me. But I digress).

Following Ohio’s lead would be a good idea, certainly better than adopting the current Common Core standards.

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