Ultimately, Common Core may provide the right course correction for U.S. education, but the devil is in the transition. Rather than focus first on modifying classroom instruction, we have allowed the testing industry to lead the charge of implementing the new ideas.
They can purchase publicity. They can offer talking points. But they cannot back their diehard delivery with evidence that the Common Core does anything other than divest American public education of its democratically-protected autonomy.
If self-declared "reformers" promote non-CCSS education as substandard, and all of these "reformers" lack a CCSS-based education, why should anyone bother heeding any advice they should push onto the public?
I know board members care deeply about public education. But as recently deceased board member Ms. Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte said about students, and I think you could apply this to the board's relationship with the public: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Handing millions over to the likes of Michelle Rhee is idiocy. Rhee is nothing more than some Frankenstein creation of bored philanthropy. Be careful, mainstream America. In promoting Rhee, you are confusing cash flow for substance.
How did parents lose the right to educate our own children or, at least, have a meaningful role to play in our school districts? How can we reclaim this right? Enter Diane Ravitch, America's foremost historian and theorist of education policy.
The new Common Core era has generated great insecurity, largely because some states, such as New York, implemented the new assessments before rolling out new curricula designed to match the rigorous exams. There is no single recipe for how to do all that is vital, but there are key ingredients.
Across the nation, our schools are suffering from budget cuts. As more money is allocated to testing and accountability, less money is available for the essential programs and services that all schools should provide. Our priorities are confused.
America's public education system could be on the brink of a once-in-a-generation revolution. If implemented properly, we can provide all children with the problem-solving, critical-thinking and teamwork skills they need to compete in today's changing world. But that's a big "if."
With the adoption of Common Core State Standards, after school and summer programs hold even greater potential. A vast body of research shows that high quality after school and summer programs contribute tremendously to children's learning.