The bloom is surely off the rose of Common Core, the new English and math standards pushed by Washington, D.C. education trade organizations and the Obama administration. In the last few months, a number of states have paused or de-funded implementation of the standards; others have pulled out of the consortia developing tests tied to them. In a recent Boston Globe op-ed marking the 20th anniversary of the Massachusetts education reform law that triggered dramatic improvements in the performance of Bay State students, Tom Birmingham, one of the law’s principal authors, wrote: “the political vectors will all tend to push the new standards to a race to the middle … In implementing the Common Core, there will be natural pressure to set the national standards at levels that are realistically achievable by students in all states. This marks a retreat from Massachusetts’ current high standards.”
... Most high-performing states also had rigorous standards prior to Common Core. For them, the new standards represent a significant step down from the academic rigor that was the foundation of their success.
Compared to Massachusetts’ previous standards, Common Core reduces the amount of classic literature, poetry and drama taught in English classes by 60 percent. Goodbye Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Edith Wharton.Read the rest here.
HT: The American Conservative.