NYU historian Diane Ravich questions the validity and wisdom of the Common Core standards now devastating the confidence of and in schools across the US.
Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core national standards, and they are being implemented this year.
Why did 45 states agree to do this? Because the Obama administration had $4.35 billion of Race to the Top federal funds, and states had to adopt “college-and-career ready standards” if they wanted to be eligible to compete for those funds. Some states, like Massachusetts, dropped their own well-tested and successful standards and replaced them with the Common Core, in order to win millions in new federal funds.
Is this a good development or not?
If you listen to the promoters of the Common Core standards, you will hear them say that the Common Core is absolutely necessary to prepare students for careers and college.
They say, if we don’t have the Common Core, students won’t be college-ready or career-ready.
Major corporations have published full-page advertisements in the New York Times and paid for television commercials, warning that our economy will be in serious trouble unless every school and every district and every state adopts the Common Core standards.
A report from the Council on Foreign Relations last year (chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice) warned that our national security was at risk unless we adopt the Common Core standards.
The Common Core standards, its boosters insist, are all that stand between us and economic and military catastrophe.
All of this is simply nonsense.
How does anyone know that the Common Core standards will prepare everyone for college and careers since they are now being adopted for the very first time?
How can anyone predict that they will do what their boosters claim?
There is no evidence for any of these claims.