Does the opt-out movement have legs? Or could what some are calling a ‘revolution’ just be nothing more than normal growing pains for the Common Core State Standards? Whichever of those is accurate, it’s also a rare opportunity to rethink the wisdom of the strange path we are heading down.
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” William Butler Yeats wrote in 1919 in ‘The Second Coming.’ Yeats was describing the world after the Great War, but it aptly describes American education today: polarized, shouting at, but rarely listening to, each other.
It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I want my friends to know that I will be joining the Board of Directors of Pearson Education. This was not an easy decision, and I know that some of my friends, particularly those on the left, will be angry with me. I ask you to withhold your judgment until you have finished reading this.
Imagine you’ve been made responsible for making dramatic improvements in our public schools…but with the stipulation that you must choose one point of attack and focus almost all of your energy and resources on that.
I had planned to devote time to Alexander Russo’s critique of my reporting for the PBS NewsHour about students “opting out” of the Common Core States Standards tests. However, we have too much going on for me to spend excessive time looking back.
No need for you to do a close reading of the paragraphs below, which are taken from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts for 9th and 10th graders. Just pay attention to the words and phrases in bold type, which include “initiate,” “participate,” “work with peers,” “actively incorporate others into the discussion,” and “thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.”
We lost a giant with the passing of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the former President of the University of Notre Dame, on Thursday, February 26. “Father Ted” was a national leader and not simply the head of a major university. He had the courage to challenge a sitting U.S. President, his own Catholic church, and even big time college football. He won two out of three.