A Little Ditty About Donald and Diane
Donald Trump thinks the Common Core State Standards are a disaster and so does education historian turned anti-education reform advocate Diane Ravitch. This puts Ravitch and Trump in opposition to millions of parents, classroom teachers, national teachers unions, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.
In a July 24 essay in the New York Times renouncing the standards, Ravitch wrote:
Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.
First of all, as Ravitch knows very well, the Common Core are not a set of “national” standards. They were created by governors and chief state school officers and adopted voluntarily by states. States can repeal them or amend them whenever they want and several already have. In fact, the federal government is prohibited by law from creating or mandating standards.
Second, there is not now and never has been a “pursuit of a national curriculum.” Conflating standards and curriculum is a cynical, coded appeal to the local control zealots on both sides who reflexively oppose anything with the word “national” attached and insist against all evidence that public education will magically improve without oversight and accountability.
Fighting Poverty and Segregation
As for fighting poverty and segregation, America has been fighting on both fronts for decades while allowing schools to languish in mediocrity. Noble as both goals A Little Ditty About Donald and Diane:
Executive Director, Education Post; Former Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach, U.S. Department of Education (Arne's Mouth)