U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”
The Common Core was designed to elevate teaching and learning. Supporters say it does that; critics say it doesn’t and that some of the standards, especially for young children, are not developmentally appropriate. Whichever side you fall on regarding the Core’s academic value, there is no question that their implementation in many areas has been miserable — so miserable that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, a Core supporter, recently compared it to another particularly troubled rollout:
You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.
New York was the first large state to implement the standards and give students new standardized tests supposedly aligned with the Core. Test scores plummeted earlier this year. State officials had predicted the scores would drop 30 percent — and that’s exactly what happened. (How they could predict that with such accuracy was addressed in a previous Answer Sheet post.) Opposition to the standards, both their content and their implementation, has been growing in New York (and other states) among teachers, principals, superintendents and parents, some of whom have refused to allow their children to take the exams.