Common Core standards are doomed, writes Jay P. Greene. The political backlash “will undo or neuter Common Core.”
With the U.S. Education Department, D.C.-based reform groups and state school chiefs on board, Common Core supporters thought they’d won a “clear and total victory.” (He compares it to the early victories by opponents of gay marriage.)
(They) failed to consider how the more than 10,000 school districts, more than 3 million teachers, and the parents of almost 50 million students would react. For standards to actually change practice, you need a lot of these folks on board. Otherwise Common Core, like most past standards, will just be a bunch of empty words in a document.
It’s too late for supporters to convince the public and to “love” the core, Greene writes. Reforms like the Common Core have a fatal flaw.
Trying to change the content and practice of the entire nation’s school system requires a top-down, direct, and definitive victory to get adopted. If input and deliberation are sought, or decisions are truly decentralized, then it is too easy to block standards reforms, like Common Core.
But the brute force and directness required for adopting national standards makes its effective implementation in a diverse, decentralized and democratic country impossible.
Common Core didn’t need to start as national standards. It’s a shame the feds got involved instead of letting the standards truly be voluntary. I think some states will drop the core, weaken the standards or fudge the tests. But if half-a-dozen states implement the standards and tests well, that will be educational.
The Federalist Debate features Fordham’s Mike Petrilli and Heartland’s Joy Pullman discussing the Common Core standards — without getting nasty.