From Common Core to Common Corpse

Dec 11, 2015 |  David Randall

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From Common Core to Common Corpse

Dec 11, 2015 | 

David Randall

The New York Daily News headline today is “Common Corpse: Parents’ Opt out protests push gov to overhaul ‘Core.’” The news article tells us that Governor Cuomo is only billing this as a delay:

Gov. Cuomo’s task force called for an overhaul to the controversial state academic standards in a report released Thursday.

Cuomo convened the panel in September to consider changing the tougher standards after as many as 240,000 students boycotted tests pegged to the unpopular measures in 2015.

On Thursday, the governor praised the 15-member task force’s recommendations, including calls for a reboot and a moratorium on consequences tied to the measures for teachers and students.

The report also calls on the state to hold off on rating teachers on the basis of Common Core exams until 2019, to give time for new standards to be developed.

We think the headline has it right: Common Core is the walking dead. Too many parents and students know the problems with Common Core, and it won’t work if they won’t take part in it. Common Core will be pushed off and pushed off, and finally it will be forgotten.

But the trouble with the walking dead is that they’re also hard to kill. Common Core will die—if the pressure against it isn’t let up. The Daily News headline is a cause for optimism, but also a reminder that the opponents of the Common Core need to keep up the fight against it. The zombie has a lot of fight left in it.

To read the best single collection of arguments against the Common Core, take a look at the 2015 book Drilling through the Core: Why Common Core Is Bad for America, edited by NAS president Peter Wood and with contributions from math and English scholars including Sandra Stotsky, Ze’ev Wurman, R. James Milgram, Mark Bauerlein, and Anthony Esolen.

Image Credit: Zack Seward, cropped.

Phil Cartier

| December 13, 2015 - 8:20 AM


I’ve reviewed some of the common core standards.  The main takeaway is that none of the standards are clear benchmarks such as: going into 5th grade the student will be able to recite, in as much detail as needed to establishe proficiency, the multiplication tables from 1-100, do double digit multiplication and division without a calculator.

Instead there are standards such as: the student will be able to show understanding of the principles of basic mathematical principals at grade level.

Vague standards are no standards at all.