Robert Holland is Senior Fellow for Education Policy at the Heartland Institute in Chicago. He pens the following letter-to-the-editor in the Bradenton Herald:
The Florida Department of Education’s proposed revisions to the so-called Common Core State Standards amount to a little more than a public relations ploy, but not much more (Herald, “Florida schools officials propose 98 changes to Common Core standards,” Jan. 14).
Some of the dozens of changes to the voluminous English and math standards are constructive, such as adding cursive alongside the keyboarding preferred by CCSS wonks, and restoring some calculus omitted by those ingenious wonks.
However, those additions are a minuscule part of CCSS, falling well within the 15 percent of content states were allowed to add under the agreement they signed with the private trade groups that copyrighted the CCSS.
Florida’s tweaking does nothing to reverse the Common Core’s drastic downgrading of classic literature or its shortchanging of students aspiring to STEM majors in prestigious universities. Furthermore, changing the name to “Florida Standards” is an insult to the intelligence of Floridians.
Heartland’s position further illustrates that Core-ists are on an island. Holland’s emphasis on Core’s “drastic downgrading of classic literature or its shortchanging of students aspiring to STEM majors” speaks directly to what Florida republican education policymakers have yet to recognize. While their concerns about Core’s federal control and private data sharing are real enough, they are not focusing on what the deal-breaker should be: It’s bad for kids.