Pioneers in the Journal on Common Core

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Jamie Glass and Charles Chieppo of the Pioneer Institute had a great piece in the Journal over the weekend on the deficiencies of Common Core.

The piece makes a fascinating contrast to Sol Stern and Joel Klein’s recent effort in the same pages. Where Stern and Klein are all gaseous rhetoric and vague generalities – nothing to see here, folks! – the Pioneers cite specifics:

Compared with Massachusetts’ former standards, Common Core’s English standards reduce by 60% the amount of classic literature, poetry and drama that students will read. For example, the Common Core ignores the novels of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” It also delays the point at which Bay State students reach Algebra I—the gateway to higher math study—from eighth to ninth grade or later.

Stanford University Emeritus Mathematics Professor R. James Milgram—the only academic mathematician on Common Core’s validation committee—refused to sign off on the final draft, describing the standards as having “extremely serious failings” and reflecting “very low expectations.”

This deal is getting worse all the time!

7 Responses to Pioneers in the Journal on Common Core

  1. Ayn Marie says:

    The website supplies a wealth of information about CCSS and its origins. The list of TAE Advocates on the website includes a number of individuals, inlcuding Jamie, who combined their knowledge and expertise to bring others facts and evidence about CCSS, as well as regular updates on what is happening on a state-by-state basis.

  2. Matthew Ladner says:

    Well it looks like everyone agrees it was a bad idea for MA to join, so we have that working for us. Otherwise check out Mike P. point by point:

    • Greg Forster says:

      A few of Mike’s points I’m admittedly not qualified to adjudicate. But I’m sure Massachusetts isn’t the only state where parents would prefer their kids read the great American novel Huck Finn instead of entertaining pap like Tom Sawyer.

  3. Now if only we can get everyone to agree that standards don’t make a different in producing success and aren’t worth this endless fighting and struggle for control. The empirical evidence on standards is pretty clear on this (see )

    • allen says:

      Oh the irony!

      The internet is built on a whole slew of standards and wouldn’t be anywhere near as useful or ubiquitous as it is without those standards.

      To recent for you?

      Up until the Civil War there were no standards in the railroad industry. Track gauges were different as were car-coupling hardware and myriad other differences from one railroad to the next. That all changed, under the pressure of war, setting the stage for an explosion of wealth formation that was felt well into the twentieth century.

      So standards are important and do make a difference in producing success.

      The shortcomings of Common Core, as regards their utility as a standard, is that the input of stakeholders is absent. That’s to be expected since the public education system has little place for the input of the most immediately concerned stakeholders – parents.

      • Greg Forster says:

        The Internet has standards for the content of what you post on your website? Railroads have standards for the content of what you say while you’re riding on the train? Huh, I never knew that.

      • allen says:

        Jeez Greg, has it been long enough that you’ve forgotten my reminder that the sort of content-free snottiness you seem to think is one of the perquisites of a PhD probably shouldn’t be posted under your name? If you have some regard for your professional reputation that is?

        You know, you never did thank me for pointing that out.

        Well, now that the pleasantries are out of the way, would it be safe to say, in view of your comment, that you have no opinion on the importance of the proposer of a standard as a factor in weighing the value of the proposed standard?

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