No Child Left Behind Gone— Common Core On the Ropes

th(See previous post for an explanation of the origins and history of Common Core so far.)

On Thursday, President Obama signed legislation that replaces the No Child Left Behind law with the Every Student Succeeds Act. Everyone agrees that NCLB, which imposed a tremendous amount of federal control over education, was a failure.

Now, 13 years later, it seems the bureaucrats and the wise men and women of Washington have finally realized that standardized federal controls are unwise and unworkable, so the new law restores a large measure of control to the States where it belongs.Never mind that 50 million American children (some of them for their entire elementary school years) have been subjected to standards and tests proposed by bureaucrats who have never taught a real-live child.

And as for Common Core—

That’s another kettle of fish. These are the detailed educational standards for K-12  proposed by the Governors Association in 2010. States were not required to adopt them but were  incentivized (with $$$) by the feds, and 45 states signed on.

And in New York–a few hours after President Obama signed the new law, Governor Cuomo’s education task force presented their report, recommending that the state replace Common Core learning standards and tests and not use test scores to evaluate teachers at least until 2019. This evaluation issue was fiercely opposed by the Teachers Union. On this I am in absolute agreement. It is one of my general objections to Common Core as implemented in New York.

And as a former English teacher, I am also particularly  opposed to the de-emphasizing of imaginative literature that is a characteristic of Common Core. It’s a heartless approach.

The states who adopted the Common Core standards will have to decide where to go from here. Many of them, to their credit, have already revised or repealed them. Like NCLB, the assumption is that the same standards can be imposed on every school in the U.S., leading to higher outcomes for all.  In my opinion, that is, on the face of it, absurd.




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