Ed Week: The Common Core Kool-Aid

Rick Hess at Ed Week just published this article exposing how Common Core is basically the same old reform mindset which educators have hated in the past, but for some reason have embraced now.



“In a number of conversations this week over at Jeb Bush’s annual edu-fest, at AEI, and around DC, I was struck by the degree to which the Common Core seems to have become Dr. Pendergast’s miracle cure for everything that ails you (seemingly including heat blisters). The exchanges were eerily reminiscent of the run-up to Waiting for Superman, when smart, enthusiastic people kept telling me how everything was about to change–how suburban voters would wake up and leap on the reform bandwagon. And it reminds me more than a little of conversations had earlier this decade or back in the ’90s about how NCLB, school choice, or site-based management were going to change everything as well.”

“More to the point, the confidence that the Common Core will wake folks up in 2015, “changing everything,” is an easy way to avoid unpleasant conversations about what it would actually take for the Common Core to connect with suburban voters or deliver on its promise (like, for instance, it might require the policy recommendations that have flowed from our “achievement gap mania” in the course of the past decade). The Kool-Aid allows would-be reformers to postpone facing up to hard truths. And it encourages proponents to regard their primary challenge as “messaging” the Common Core to parents and teachers, rather than grappling with these more substantive issues.”

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