Oops, Sorry, Turns Out Common Core is Anti-Choice

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Well, folks, I have to recant my recantation from yesterday. Turns out Common Core really does destroy parental options.

At Heritage, Brittany Corona points out that the SAT, ACT and GED are all competing to see who is most “aligned” to Common Core. As the College Board begins a major overhaul of the SAT, prompted by the ACT recently surpassing it as the most-used college exam, the Board is bragging that “in its current form, the SAT is aligned to the Common Core as well as or better than any assessment that has been developed for college admission and placement.” The revisions will seek even stronger “alignment” between the SAT and Common Core. No doubt the SAT feels like it has to play catch-up because the ACT has been boasting for some time that it “pledges to work with other stakeholders to develop strategies and solutions that maximize the coverage of the Common Core State Standards to meet the needs of states, districts, schools, and students.” Meanwhile, the GED cites “the shift to the Common Core standards [that] is happening nationwide” as one reason it has to make major changes to its test.

Corona points out that private schools and homeschoolers are impacted by these changes. Private schools are already under pressure from short-sighted and/or cowardly system leaders to adopt (or pretend to adopt) Common Core, so that they won’t be stigmatized as dissenters from the One Best Way. If college entrance exams are Common-Core-ized, it will be virtually impossible for private schools and homeschoolers to maintain any kind of alternative to the One Best Way. As for the GED, Corona points out that homeschoolers often use it for external validation of their education.

Now, just like everything else associated with Common Core, there is less here than meets the eye. That’s because the claims that these tests are, or will be, “aligned” to Common Core are all meaningless BS (just like so many other claims associated with Common Core). As Jay has pointed out, it’s overwhelmingly unlikely that anybody is ever really going to align anything to Common Core in a meaningful way. You can see that just from what the College Board people are saying. “In its current form, the SAT is aligned to the Common Core as well as or better than any assessment.” What the heck does that even mean? What can that mean? The federal government’s contractors haven’t finished developing their official federal-government-designed assessments “aligned” to Common Core. We don’t even have the standards themselves yet! These people are simply talking out of their bodily orifices (just like…).

Moreover, as Corona points out, the deadening hand of dictatorial control by cynical elites is a constant wellspring of opportunity for entrepreneurial innovators: “Thankfully, tests like the SAT and ACT can be changed or replaced, even though they have begun a transition to Common Core. If a significant number of states pull out of Common Core, these exams can be modified, or there could be an opening in the market for other college entrance exams to take root.”

But although Common Core is unlikely to do the kind of extensive damage to parental control and educational diversity that the bragging of the College Board, ACT and GED would imply, nonetheless it is increasingly clear that Common Core represents the technocratic spirit of the One Best Way, to which all families should (in principle) bow the knee and conform. The inability of the technocrats to achieve their dream of forcing all parents into the One Best Way should not blind us to the fact that this is, in fact, their dream. Or that is what is implied by their behavior, at any rate.

My apologies for the wrong turn yesterday, folks. I was right the first time – Common Core is bad for school choice.

HT Bill Evers and Breitbart

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8 Responses to Oops, Sorry, Turns Out Common Core is Anti-Choice

  1. Duncan Frissell says:

    You can always get in to St. Johns, or Hillsdale, or some others by essay…

    1947 – The Educational Testing Service is founded by all the usual suspects (American Council on Education, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the College Entrance Examination Board) to supply a standard entrance exam for tertiary educational institutions. Essay writing as a means of testing is largely abandoned because it can’t be machine graded.

  2. Matthew Ladner says:

    Egads, now the Ohio program will be found unconstitutional on a technicality.

  3. MOMwithArain says:

    I spoke to a teacher/Admin./Priest at a Catholic college the other day and he smiled and said: That’s why they don’t look at the SAT’s anymore for admission.
    YES, you can still get a GOOD/QUALITY education. Look to Catholic schools/Colleges that haven’t caved to the dumbed down Common Core public ed.

    • How is Common Core dumbed down? Those standards could be implemented with as much rigor as any other non-CCS school. Clearly, you aren’t that familiar with them, the suggested texts listed in their appendices, or the relationship of standards to actual instruction. Then again, I imagine from your comment that you’d label any school that doesn’t include Jesus in their mission statement as wishy-washy. (I’m noticing an irony in the name you’ve chosen for posting here.)

  4. Erin Tuttle says:

    If college entrance tests are CC aligned, which is not college ready, won’t colleges find them NOT to be indicative of a student’s ability to do college level work? Is this why the CC consortiums are asking higher-ed to accept the CC EOC assessments for automatic placement of students with a 4 or 5 score into credit bearing classes? It seems the CC supporters do not want a constant marker against which students under CC will be compared to students pre-CC. Can you imagine what would happen if the SAT remained the same and students under CC did worse?

    • Greg Forster says:

      Hence the importance of reminding both SAT and ACT that it is not a law of nature that everyone will keep using their tests!

  5. […] for their children to go to a good college. “If college entrance exams are Common-Core-ized,” explained Greg Forster, “it will be virtually impossible for private schools and homeschoolers to maintain […]

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