Former MA education commissioner David Driscoll opined today in the Globe that we should just move ahead with the Common Core standards. Uh, how about no.
His is a pretty disappointing piece. It conflates participating in the Common Core Standards process with accepting the final product. Everyone agrees that MA should be involved in the CC standards process. But I hope we also all agree that we should NOT accept the proposed CC standards if they are weaker than our current standards. For some reason, the former commissioner divines that they will be better than our current nation-leading standards. How does he know that? They currently are not – not by a long shot. And while the recent drafts are improved, they are not even close to where MA, MN, IN, and CA are. TX also has strengths not present in the CC standards drafts.
So how does he know they they will be better? That’s a pretty fancy dowsing stick. Maybe he really thinks the Common Core standards are good. Yeesh.
Pioneer has been working to advance high-quality, content-based academic standards since 1996. Since I’ve been at Pioneer, we have produced 10 pieces of research on standards generally (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and two specifically looking at whether the Common Core standards being proposed measure up with ours and those in leading states (11 and 12).
Also, the Globe should have insisted on a more complete by-line for the piece. Dr. Driscoll, in addition to being the former education commissioner, is currently a lobbyist at Liberty Square Group and on the board of the Fordham Institute, a recipient of significant funding from the Gates Foundation, the major driver behind the Common Core Standards (see Diane Ravitch’s recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, pp. 210-212).
Transparency is always a good thing.