Education Editorial: The Common Core

By: Bill Bosher - email

The Common Core standards has been approved by 46 states. While the President has indicated that these "content" standards in English, math, science and history were created by states to be used voluntarily, it seems that this is not the case.

Diane Ravitch, a noted educator, recently blogged that she felt compelled to reveal her concerns. The standards were developed by an organization called Achieve with the involvement of the National Governor's Association and with funding from the Gates Foundation. States were forced into approving the standards in order to be eligible for billions in "Race to the Top" money.

The commissioner from Texas observed that he was pressured to sign on before the standards were even written.

Federal law prohibits the US government from establishing a national curriculum, but the Obama administration found a clever way to circumvent this prohibition. Dr. Ravitch states that scores will go down and states will chase arbitrary cut scores on tests that will reflect most negatively on disadvantaged populations.

Having imposed standards on states that they really didn't want…at a cost that they were not able to pay…for test results that have little meaning…it seems the right time to save money, time, and the cost of a federal bureaucracy.

The Federal government only provides about 5% of the cost of education, so why not give the responsibility for determining what students should know and be able to do to those who best know what they need...and who pay for it. States and localities!!

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