We want evidence-based education not evidence-blank education with an endless price-tag.”
At least two counter-attacks are directed at people who are fighting for the repeal of Common Core. Make sure you dodge the blows and make some points in the process.
Attack 1: “Show me what particular standards you don’t like—I want specifics,” or the variation, “I’ve read the standards and don’t find anything objectionable – have you read the standards?”
Short Answer 1: “It’s a waste of time to dissect the current standards today because they can be changed tomorrow without our approval. That’s one of the many huge problems with these standards.”
Long Answer 1: “The standards were written specifically to be as innocuous as possible because the developers don’t want any red flags raised. Liberals have been attempting to implement a national curriculum for at least 20 years and they have learned through previous failures not to put controversial items in publicly published standards at first. In the 1990’s they tried to establish national history standards and to get them ratified through the legislative process, but when people saw how controversial they were, the U.S. Senate shot it down 99-1. The developers aren’t stupid, so they put the bland version of CC out there first. BUT they reserved the right to change these unilaterally and indefinitely in the future. That way, they can gradually make changes under the radar without parents and teachers feedback. So for all practical purposes, it doesn’t matter what the standards say today — they can be changed tomorrow without our input.”
Attack 2: “You just don’t want any standards at all!”
Short Answer 2: “That’s obviously false because we weren’t protesting in 2009 when we had our own state standards.”
Long Answer 2: “The truth is that we support standards which are stars to guide us by and not sticks to beat us with. The punitive, high-stakes assessments are being used to frighten students and teachers into test-prep compliance instead of inspiring exploration and discovery. In fact, NO bodies of research show that national standards increase student achievement. Both the highest and lowest performing nations on the international PISA testing have national standards. What DOES make a difference in student achievement is the existence of unique state standards where a certain level of competition exists between states and where local needs can be addressed with local guidelines. This pattern has been wildly successful in Canada where no federal department of education exists, no federal dollars fund education, and each province (state) competes head-to-head with other provinces. With this formula, Canada has left the U.S. in the middle of the pack on international testing and is now near the top even though approximately 25% of their students are immigrants. Also, Massachusetts spent 4 years crafting their own state standards in a very transparent, inclusive and collaborative process which resulted in their PISA scores being among the highest in the world. Common Core is the polar opposite of those two examples.
Attack 3: “But we’ve already spent so much money on materials and training for Common Core! You want us to start from scratch?”
Short Answer 3: “So because we’ve flushed millions down the toilet, we should just keep flushing more millions? That’s stupid.”
Long Answer 3: “Throwing good money after bad is not a fiscally sustainable. We really regret that the legislature and the public were not involved in these decisions— if we had been involved, we would have prevented this expensive mistake. But the money spent already is still minor compared to the never-ending requirements for technology, software, and testing upgrades that the standards are mandating. There is no evidence that Common Core or the assessments or the high tech mandates actually improve student achievement. Before spending any more funds, responsible policy makers must require the evidence FIRST. We want evidence-based education not evidence-blank education with an endless price-tag.”
Wise Words From A Dear Friend in Mental Health Field
George Will: Doubts over Common Core won’t be easily dismissed
Third, political dishonesty has swift, radiating and condign consequences. Opposition to the Common Core is surging because Washington, hoping to mollify opponents, is saying, in effect: “If you like your local control of education, you can keep it. Period.” To which a burgeoning movement is responding: “No. Period.”