The Fatal Flaw of the Common Core Standards

I agree with Ravitch that how Common Core Standards were developed is more problematic than the standards themselves. When she says, “The reason to oppose the Common Core is not because of their content, some of which is good, some of which is problematic, some of which needs revision (but there is no process for appeal or revision),” I heartily agree. Where I differ with Ravitch is the notion that we must oppose the standards. I’m all for injecting an appeals/revision process and using it in order to move toward a more transparent and legitimate process that involves stakeholders. I’d rather not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’d rather keep the good parts of the common core, but address the areas that are cause for concern (like the age inappropriate standards, the connection to high stakes testing, etc.). The fact that states, like Indiana, are opting out of the common core–i.e. take your RTTT money and shove it–yet still writing similar standards, again like Indiana ( , show that the standards do have some merit despite what political foes like Stotsky and Pence have to say. It is unfortunate that standards that better reflect critical thinking skills will more than likely die a horrific political death because of lack of transparency and outright political demonization (most people do not know that the standards come from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State Schools Officers to answer the call to develop standards that do not create inequity based upon a child’s zip code–and to have a fighting chance for federal grants). I stand with Ravitch in the that the process needs to happen. It does indeed matter. I just hope that once the process does happen, and we find that many of the standards are indeed worth keeping, that we aren’t attacked like Indiana.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Across the nation, parents and educators are raising objections to the Common Core standards, and many states are reconsidering whether to abandon them as well as the federally-funded tests that accompany them. Arne Duncan, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable vocally support them, yet the unease continues and pushback remains intense.

Why so much controversy?

The complaints are coming from all sides: from Tea Party activists who worry about a federal takeover of education and from educators, parents, and progressives who believe that the Common Core will standardize instruction and eliminate creativity in their classrooms.

But there is a more compelling reason to object to the Common Core standards.

They were written in a manner that violates the nationally and international recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no…

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