Common Core and the Mainstream

November 5, 2012 0 Comments

By Shane Vander Hart

I guess those of us who are concerned about the Common Core State Standards are part of the fringe… at least according to Scott Elliott writing for the Indianapolis Star’s Get on the Bus Blog.  He writes:

The Common Core has been only a minor issue in the state superintendent race, which has instead been focused on issues like testing and privatization of public education. Bennett’s rival, Democrat Glenda Ritz, has expressed some sympathy for the anti-Common Core arguments but even she has not called for pulling Indiana out of the Common Core, just slowing down and giving the whole thing more consideration.

The energy behind idea that Indiana should abandon the Common Core — academic standards (and, soon, affiliated tests) that 46 states have agreed to follow — has mostly come from the political fringes in Indiana. On the far right, the Common Core has been viewed as stealth nationalized standards that give more power over curriculum to those outside the state. On the far left, it is considered as an unwelcome expansion of the standardized testing industrial complex seen as already too dominant in driving curriculum.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean backlash against the Common Core couldn’t emerge in the mainstream next year.

Not everybody who has concerns about the Common Core are in extreme camps. There are plenty of rank-and-file educators who question whether some of the new standards are potentially a step back from Indiana’s own standards, which have gotten generally high marks. This has mostly been an inside-the-profession discussion so far but that doesn’t mean it won’t spill over into the general political discourse.

So if you’re not a rank-and-file educator you’re in the fringes?  The reason Mr. Elliott that there hasn’t been more outrage over this is the way the Common Core State Standards were implemented – under the radar without public input (or legislative input for that matter).

That said I do believe he’s right that this issue could be mainstreamed next year – especially states like Indiana where there is growing opposition.  I believe their will be push back in my home state of Iowa, but it’s hard to say how much noise will be made about it until after the election.

Originally posted at Truth In American Education

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