Even as states tumble over one another—eight as of yesterday—to replace their crummy school standards (in reading and math) with the solid new “common core” education standards, such critics say the sky is falling. Because they have trouble denying—that word again—that the new standards have considerable merit, they warn of two perils that, they insist, lurk just over the horizon: either the federal government will take over (and mandate) this state-led (and voluntary) initiative and/or the loopiest of educationists will gradually gain control over it and dumb it down.
Tis true, even paranoids have enemies, and it’s theoretically possible that such things could one day happen. This I do not deny. My Fordham colleagues and I are in the midst of a project designed to avert those troubling but unlikely outcomes by devising a workable governance structure for the “common core” that keeps it firmly in state—and lay—hands over the long run.
(photo credit: Xin Li 88)