Dead Man Walking; Why the Common Core is on Borrowed Time

With Common Core standards still in effect in the vast majority of the fifty states and some governors and presidential candidates staking their political reputations to keep them in place, it seems highly unlikely that the federal mandate is poised to become a relic of the educational landscape.  Yet, that is what Ze’ev Wurman, former senior policy adviser with the Department of Education, is contending in a piece this week on

Some states are switching to standards that are ‘aligned’ to Common Core, some are keeping the standards but changing the name of the test (As Florida has done with the Florida Standards Assessments).   The distancing from the Common Core name is no accident.   Over the past year, the once lauded tests have come under fire from parents, students and educators.   Bill Gates may continue to throw money at the problem, but the words “Common Core” have become radioactive waste for politicians and educators, even those who supported the mandate at its inception.  Let’s take a look at He’s Dead, Jim: Why Common Core Is A Goner And Just Doesn’t Know It Yet

Every other day we hear from Common Core proponents about how wonderful these standards are, how teachers really (really!) love them, and how impossible it would be to do any better.

Just the other day, Education Week gloated how the new South Carolina standards are “89 percent in alignment with the common core for English/language arts, and 92 percent in alignment with the common core for math.” It reminded us that the new post-Common Core Indiana standards are also “a set of benchmarks not so different from the Common Core.”

The underlying message is that Common Core standards are so excellent and unique that states attempting to distance themselves from them won’t do any better.

Yet this message is incorrect, and Common Core is dying. Consider the following.

First, the curricula of high achieving nations vary widely. Singapore’s curriculum differs from Japan’s, which in turn differs from Hong Kong’s.

Pretending that Common Core succeeded in finding the unique and perfect combination where others failed—and without any evidence of success—is both arrogant and foolish. Further, all serious studies have found Common Core academically mediocre, trailing behind international high achievers in its expectations. As for the proponents’ definition of “alignment,” they consider having the same content but in a different grade as “aligned.” One is forced to conclude that Common Core’s “excellence” exists only in the mind of its peddlers.

But mediocre academics are not the reason for Common Core’s death. Rather, its death comes because states are abandoning its goal of lock-step national uniformity.

I disagree, the death of the Common Core is imminent because parents, educators, taxpayers and students want the standards removed from the classroom and they are willing to become politically active in order to make that happen.

Common Core’s goal was to have the whole country, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, operate under uniform education standards, with two federally sponsored andfederally monitored testing consortia as its whips to coerce compliance. And it expected every student’s academic and demographic record to be available to the federal government for the purposes of workforce planning.

When parents realized that the capture of their children’s sensitive information was part of the foundation of Common Core, the reaction was explosive. Parents mobilizing to protect the personal information of their children did considerable damage to the Common Core.

Five years ago the Common Core began with much fanfare and celebration.  Today, the brainchild of Bill Gates and his consortium of corporate interests is viciously despised by citizens across the United States.  Summer vacation may give the initiative some respite, but once test scores are returned and the new school year begins, expect a massive push from parents to remove the test from the classroom once and for all.  Common Core just celebrated its fifth birthday.  Don’t expect five more.

-Gabriel Diaz


For an excellent summary of what is truly wrong with the Common Core, you can check out my good friend Brook Putnam’s e-book “Rotten Core: How the Common Core is Ruining Our Children’s Futures and What We Can Do About it.”  I can’t recommend it enough!  Brook is a school teacher with a vicious sense of humor, and these 22 pages are a ridiculously entertaining and informative read.  We are offering it for a limited time on this site exclusively for only 99 cents! Take advantage of this outstanding deal, right here!

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