Saturday, May 25, 2013

Conservatives and the Common Core

Conservatives and the Common Core 

By SOL STERN AND JOEL KLEIN, Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2013 - Although the two of us have disagreed about several school-reform issues, we strongly believe that the Common Core State Standards, voluntarily adopted by 45 states, is one of the most promising education initiatives of the past half century. If implemented properly, they can better prepare students for college-level work and to gain the civic knowledge that is essential for democracy to prosper.

All Americans, including conservatives, should applaud these standards, which celebrate the country's foundational documents and enable students to share the heritage of Americans. 

Unsurprisingly, the adoption of common educational standards is opposed by some hard-liners on the educational left. ........ Progressives tend to favor pedagogical approaches in the classroom such as "child-centered" instruction and "teaching for social justice," rather than rigorous academic content.

Much more puzzling has been the fervid opposition to the Common Core by some conservatives, including tea party activists,......

The Common Core Standards were not written by the federal government, but by a committee selected by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The committee's efforts were backed financially by several private foundations, including ........(link)

My Comment:
Unless you subscribe to the WSJ, the link will not let you read the story.  I was tempted to repost the whole piece but wanted to respect the private property rights of the WSJ and abide by Fair Use rules.

The article points out that Common Core helps student get an understanding of our American heritage by requiring reading of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers.  They say that Common Core is an advance in rigor and academic content.  From what I have read about common core, I think it is a valuable educational reform. Please, before you jump on the anti-Common Core bandwagon, carefully consider the issue. There are many conservatives who think Common Core is a significant reform and others who may not be as enthusiastic but see nothing to fear in Common Core.

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