Common Core is a Set of Curricula

Common Core is a Set of Curricula


by Jared Gellert

Both South Carolina and Oklahoma just announced that they are withdrawing from the common core standards.

Repeat after me, the common core is a set of curricula.  

Neither state said anything about high stakes testing.  South Carolina won’t administer the tests developed to align with the common core, but what they will do instead isn’t clear. 

Two questions:

There are two different educational issues here.  One is curricular in nature. 

Will South Carolina develop curricula that are superior to the common core curricula? Or will their curricula feature creationism and climate change denial?  How will their curricula address issues like the civil war, the civil rights era and a range of diversity issues?   I’d like to see a cogent argument for where the common core curricula are deficient, and how local control is going to lead to better curricula.

The other issue is testing. 

Are they still going to push for teacher and principal  evaluation based on test scores?  Are they going to close local schools based on these scores?  Are they going to cut back on things like arts, drama, physical education in order to cram for tests?  Are they going to steal day after day away from cultivating critical thought in order to teach test taking skills?  

The analytical grouch in me wants to keep saying, Repeat after me, the common core is a set of curricula. 

High stakes testing is a far greater problem, and that’s where the focus should be. 

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