Common Core: It Seemed Like a Good Idea Until It Existed
In 2008, Education Next asked 3,200 respondents (700 of whom were public school teachers) about their thoughts on having “the same set of educational standards” in order to “hold schools accountable.” Respondents were divided into sub-samples and asked one of the two following questions. Included are the percentages of respondents who chose among three response options:
Question Version One
For holding schools accountable, should the federal government establish the same set of educational standards for the whole country and given the same tests in math, science, and reading? Or do you think that there should be different standards and tests in different states?
One test and standard for all students: 69% (public) 54% (teachers)
Different standards and tests in different states: 19% (public) 21% (teachers)
No national or state tests should be given: 13% (public) 25% (teachers)
Question Version Two
For holding schools accountable, should all state governments adopt the same set of educational standards and give the same tests in math, science, and reading? Or do you think that there should be different standards and tests in different states?
One test and standard for all students: 69% (public) 56% (teachers)
Different standards and tests in different states: 19% (public) 24% (teachers)
No national or state tests should be given: 11% (public) 20% (teachers)
Now, this was in 2008– the year that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was supposed to be reauthorized following its original 2007 delay and its facing a “problematic” fate due to its “mov[ing] into the presidential election year.” In the 2008 EdNext survey, the public was almost equally divided among NCLB renewal as is; renewal with major changes; renewal with minor changes, and non-renewal. In contrast, 42% of public school teachers opted for nonrenewal, and 33% selected renewal with major changes.
These are the same folks who thought in 2008 that “the same set of standards”–even federally established– would be a good idea.
A test-driven-accountability “second chance.”
It’s amazing how good an idea can seem theoretically.
All states, same standards, same tests.
No thoughts of a grand-scale, public-education hijacking.
No public knowledge that in 2008, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) President Gene Wilhoit and edupreneur David Coleman had asked billionaire Bill Gates to bankroll CCSS; that before they could examine the rigid, CCSSO and National Governors Association (NGA)-owned product, 46 state and three territorial governors had signed their states on for not only the as-of-yet nonexistent (Gates-funded) CCSS, but also the federally-purchased CCSS assessments– and an enterprise that states could only be “state led” into and not out of without threat of federally imposed consequences to pressure states into keeping CCSS.
Ahh, but now it’s 2014, and public knowledge is growing regarding the above schemes.
In 2014, EdNext editor-in-chief Paul Peterson tried to sell Common Core State Standards (CCSS) rejection as rejection in name only.
Well. I’m thinking it’s not just the CCSS name.
The CCSS guest has moved into the house. There’s dirty laundry on the floor. The milk carton has been left in the fridge empty, and the favorite chair is always occupied by someone who is no longer favored.
Yep. It’s time for a break-up.
Consider the results of this Intelligence Squared CCSS survey. Granted, this survey is not of a random sample, but it does have over 43,000 responses as of this writing, and for the past week, the respondents have held steady at 11 percent in favor of CCSS and 89 percent against.
Furthermore, the survey includes clear, multi-paragraph descriptors of what respondents are choosing in indicating a preference for or against CCSS.
Not a “name only” rejection.
Respondents also have something available to them in 2014 that they did not have in 2008:
A dose of reality.
Gates is also involved in funding the corresponding September 9, 2014, Intelligence Squared CCSS debate. The odds are stacked in favor of CCSS with the choice of debaters.
But the public is clearly catching on.
Like much of test-driven reform, CCSS reality is hitting home.
Like my writing? Read my newly-released ed “reform” whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education
NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE.