CC Secrecy and Bringing Back the Culture War


Paul the psychic octopus sez: “Toldja so!”

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

It’s not just the enemies list, with innocent people who don’t toe the CC line being ruthlessly destroyed. Another clear sign of CC’s illegitimacy – and (as a result of its illegitimacy) the inevitability of its failure – is its secrecy.

Stanley Kurtz writes in The Corner that a complete model AP history exam, showing what the exams will cover now that they’re part of the CC monolith, has been distributed to AP history teachers nationwide, but they can’t disclose it on pain of “severe penalties.”

Kurtz asserts that the CC monolith is a deliberately crafted illegal conspiracy to seize control of history classes nationwide and force them to teach left-wing, socialist agitprop.

His rhetoric is inflammatory and conspiratorial, but thereby hangs a tale.

Some comments:

  1. With AP exams being distributed secretly to AP teachers as part of the CC monolith, is anyone still prepared to claim that CC is only monopolizing standards and is not also monopolizing curriculum? Could someone please wake me up when we get past that?
  2. CC backers have no complaint coming that Kurtz’s rhetoric is inflammatory and conspiratorial. If you operate by pure power – secrecy and bribery and threats and enemies lists, and sneering at anyone who asks you to explain and justify what you’re doing – people are entitled to assume you’re up to no good. And they will. You have no one to blame but yourself.
  3. Nationalizing education reignites the culture war in the worst, nastiest possible way? You may be surprised, but Paul the psychic octopus isn’t.

10 Responses to CC Secrecy and Bringing Back the Culture War

  1. matthewladner says:

    What does the design of the AP history exam have to do with math and reading standards?

    • Greg Forster says:

      Uh, they’re all being controlled and imposed by the same people?

    • Ze'ev Wurman says:

      Remember the Shanker manifesto three years back?

      “While the work before us begins with the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, we want to stress that a quality education should also include history, geography, the sciences, civics, the arts, foreign languages, technology, health, and physical education. Standards-setting and curriculum development must be done for these as well.”

      • Tunya Audain says:

        Yes, There Was A Call For Common Content Three Yrs Ago

        “We, the undersigned, representing viewpoints from across the political and educational spectrum” . . . was how the declaration started. Yes, the spectrum was covered — from the most left and Haymarket Books Publishing to most right EDHirsch Jr of Core Knowledge.

        Wondering if any of the original supporters have now disavowed their support, as Stotsky and Milgram have from the CC Validation Committee?

  2. matthewladner says:

    So let’s put aside the matter that states have been walking away from CC itself with no apparent problem and Washington dropped their NCLB waiver based on other issues to thunderous yawns rather than riots in the streets. I am not aware of anyone imposing AP exams (Race to the Top fine print?) and the article provides nothing more than speculation backed by unnamed sources that the test is going to generate controversy.

  3. What states have walked away from CC with no apparent problem? Not Indiana, which has warmed-over CC standards–the worst in the country. Not OK YET, because the state board has sued the state legislature first. Not South Carolina YET because a pro-CC superintendent plans to get elected in November and usher in another warmed-over version of CC. Not Florida, which has CC in almost pure form, and has just voted for a CC-based assessment from AIR. Not Alaska, which pretended to dump CC and has just ordered a CC-based assessment from the U of Kansas. Scaredy-cat governors and dishonest departments of education abound in this country. No shortage of them.

    • matthewladner says:

      Dr. Stotsky-

      What you describe sounds more like predictable state disagreements, turf battles and CC opponents failing to think more than one move ahead rather than to some sort Hotel California scenario.

  4. TH says:

    Common Core is not a curriculum. Teachers and schools/districts decide on their curriculum, although sadly most delegate it to textbooks publishers who are the same people creating the assessment. Here is a good discussion of this and also a sample lesson plan on how to meet a CC standard.

    I am not saying CC was well introduced, however to call it a curriculum is misleading.

  5. […] Foster writing at Jay P. Greene’s blog made some interesting points about Stanley Kurtz’ recent piece in National Review on the new AP […]

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