Where did this Common Core come from anyhow?
As Election Day nears — with Rob“Stop Common Core” ballot line set to go in New York — I could imagine hectic suburban parents paying a little more attention to these English and math standards that seemed to fall out of the sky not long ago.
Peekskill Pete orNancy might turn to Google to seek some basic info about who created these national-but-not-federal standards. Who paid for this monumental project, if not the feds? Why wasn’t there any discussion or debate before the standards were adopted in New York?
Having covered the Core for several years, I feel for any well-meaning layperson who seeks simple answers.
“development process” page of the Common Core website, where she would see that governors and state education officials gathered in April 2009 to “discuss creation” of the Core. Then she might scroll down to the see that the final standards were released in June 2010 — 14 months later! How did that happen?Nancy might zip to the
She would see long lists of “work teams” and “feedback groups” that apparently created the Core. But it’s sure hard to tell how these professors, teachers and professional reformers were chosen or how they did so much so fast.
Thealso reveals that some 1,000 people submitted comments in late 2009. But how did they know to do so? Did Nancy miss the announcement in her school bulletins?
There’s no mention of Bill Gates bankrolling the Common Core to the tune of $200 million or of the Obama Administration dangling $4 billion to states that pledged allegiance to new standards.
Peekskill Pete might click on , New York’s voluminous website on reform. The Common Core has 4,503 mentions — mostly lesson plans for teachers. “Frequently asked questions” about the Common Core focus on “modules” or video-based lessons for teachers.
There’s tons of information on, but it’s like a Russian novel for the uninitiated. I’m sure there’s plenty of background in there somewhere, but Peekskill Pete will have to be mighty patient and eager to find it.
Plenty of educators and activists are eager and willing to defend or bash the Common Core. I’m sure some will insist that there was lots of information available all along (good and bad) if you were paying attention. But most people simply do not have the time or interest to follow developments in education policy.
Putting aside for a moment the question of whether the Core is a good thing for our schools, I think one can make a strong argument that the development of the Core needed some substantive, state-by-state P.R. Like: This is what we’re trying to do and why — and these are the folks doing it. What do you think? Should your state adopt it?
Instead, we got: The Common Core is here, and it’s gonna be great. Trust us. We’re going to be college-and-career ready, college-and-career ready, college-and-career ready…