For Common Core to work — that is, for it to be more than a bunch of vague words in a document and to actually change what teachers do in their classrooms — it has to be aligned with new tests that impose meaningful consequences on individual teachers for complying with the New Educational Order. As I’ve been expecting, teachers and their unions have no desire to be controlled by the Common Core standards-testing-accountability machine and are starting to rebel against it in earnest. Randi Weingarten has called for a halt to efforts to link Common Core to high stakes assessments and Diane Ravitch and her army of angry teachers are mobilizing against this intrusion on their authority.
I have to admit that I am sympathetic with this resistance by teachers to having their classrooms controlled by a system of national standards, testing, and consequences. If a giant machine controlled our nation’s schools it might become self-aware, obtain the launch codes, and then…. But I digress. I don’t want a centrally planned education system, just as I don’t want a centrally planned economy. It wouldn’t work and it would be incredibly oppressive. So, I support teacher opposition to being controlled by the central planning of Common Core. I understand that teachers don’t want to be ruled by the Petty Little Dictators behind Common Core.
The problem is that I also don’t want to be ruled by the Petty Little Dictators of teacher unions and localized public school monopolies. The fight between teachers and Common Core backers is really a clash of the Petty Little Dictators. Common Core wants to dictate what teachers do to make sure they are “doing it right.” And teacher unions resist this because they want to be in charge.
I don’t think we have to choose between these Petty Little Dictators. I favor a third way. Why don’t we not have any dictators and just let families choose the education that they think is appropriate for their children? No one has to tell them what a good education is. They don’t need Common Core to restrict their choices and they don’t need teachers unions to confine them to public school monopolies. I oppose both efforts at dictatorship and favor liberty.
Now it’s time to release the Kraken.