Williamson Evers is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and former U.S. assistant secretary of Education. Pittsburg Herald Tribune reporter Eric Heyl interviewed the George W. Bush appointee and got his thoughts on Common Core.
….it’s a kind of utopian project to align all the classrooms in the country to be doing roughly the same things. Anything like that is just an unimaginably difficult, complex thing.
The standards themselves, the standards are lists of topics that the child is expected to learn in each grade. The standards have some sloppiness problems and they have some, I guess you could call them doctrinal, problems where they are trying to teach a certain kind of progressive education. And that may not work out too well.
….previous attempts to do this sort of thing have failed. There was new math in the wake of Sputnik, there was an attempt at national standards by George H.W. Bush, and there were two attempts in the Clinton administration at national standard and testing and curriculum. They both failed.
Now (Common Core) has gone quite far, and if we could predict the future we’d make a lot of money in the stock market, but I would say the past indicates there will be problems with this.
New York’s issues with PARCC testing – which were predicted – that goes along with Core frightened even the most zealous republican ed reformers in state houses. Nevermind the problems with data mining and what’s justifiable perceived as federal control of curriculum. My friend Chris Guerrieri, who admits to being a “big-government liberal, wrote today that Core is a “federal takeover of our schools and are being pushed by an administration that has gotten it nearly all wrong, high stakes testing, charter schools and Arne Duncan to name a few, on education.”
Heyl finished his interview with Evers by asking if he believed this attempt to homogenize the nation’s education standards ultimately will cause more harm than good? Evers responded that “I think it has the potential to be catastrophic”