Common (Confusions) Core in the Schools: Update 2014

CCS_articleAre you confused by the Common Core standards or the ongoing controversy surrounding their implementation? You’re not alone.  For a thoughtful and clear discussion of the Core issues today, I recommend the article in the Fall issue of Harvard Ed. Magazine- What Happened to the Common Core?

The author does not provide clear cut answers or simplistic solutions to this complex problem, but lays out the arguments on both side of the Common Core debate. What I find interesting about this is that there is minimal attention given to the impact of Common Core on actual students. It is all about the top down, factory model of school as a means to “enhance US standing in the global marketplace.”  Are students viewed as mere cogs in the great gearbox of education without their own minds, ideas, and feelings? It reminds me of an industrialist’s view of students as assembly-line workers who must be slaves to the converyor belt. Haven’t we moved beyond such simplistic and misguided views? Maybe not . . . How many more students (and teachers!) will have to fall off or be ground down by the conveyor belt before we adopt a more sophisticated view of school improvement strategies?