Common Core’s Finland Du Jour, or, Who Asked the Bishops?

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(Guest post by Greg Forster)

As long as we’re talking about the “Finalnd Du Jour” problem, Eric (or possibly Erik?) Hanushek has a good little piece in U.S. News arguing against Common Core, pointing out (among other arguments) that it’s being widely defended using FDJ thinking: “Proponents of national standards point to Massachusetts: strong standards and top results. But California, a second state noted for its high learning standards, balances Massachusetts: strong standards and bottom results.” Hanushek’s piece emphasizes how little a difference standards usually make to education: “Just setting a different goal – even if backed by intensive professional development, new textbooks, etc. – has not historically had much influence as we look across state outcomes.”

Meanwhile, in Crisis magazine, Anne Hendershott notes the widespread upending of curricula in Catholic schools being undertaken in the name of CC and asks, when did Catholic superintendents get the authority to make these far-reaching changes without consulting the bishops? So far there’s no reason to think CC will be any more effective at improving education than the Obamacare exchanges are at getting people enrolled in subsidized heath plans, but it would appear CC has been very effective in undermining religious liberty. Or what else do you call it when church-affiliated schools are more responsive to federal diktats than to their own clergy?

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One Response to Common Core’s Finland Du Jour, or, Who Asked the Bishops?

  1. Molly says:

    Hi. I was tipped off to your blog by a faculty member in the ND law school, via a parent who emailed this faculty member. A parent who, you guessed it, is concerned about CC in the Catholic school system, a parent like me (i am coincidentally also in the academy, at a large state institution, slogging towards hopefully tenure, with children in Catholic schools). Where are the bishops, indeed. I’m not sure anyone has asked them, I think many are being buffered from the dirty work of running the dioceses. As you may know, the pushers of CCSS in the Catholic school system are out of Loyola and BU, and we will certainly point them to your recent CCSS posts, if their minds are open enough to read them. Thank you for posting them!

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