June 15, 2012

Five reasons I hate the Common Core

It seems that educators and bureaucrats nationwide are putting every spin possible on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), in an effort to get teachers to accept the idea that the common core movement will revolutionize education. I, for one, am not buying this. In fact, I'll give you five reasons I hate the common core.

5 -- Common Core State Standards discourage creativity. Teachers have been teaching X + Y = Z forever. However, the way a teacher in Ohio teaches it will, in most cases, be far different from how a teacher in Florida teaches it. Isn't this what makes education unique and interesting?
4 -- Common Core State Standards discourage reading fiction - By 2015, the goal is that 70 percent of what students read will be nonfiction. A love of reading helps students learn. My 105 students read over 3,000 books this school year. Eighty percent of those were novels.
3 -- Common Core State Standards narrow the curriculum - It's difficult to explore the nuances of a subject, when you are chained to a book of standards that administrators say must be taught in one 9-month school year.
2 -- Common Core State Standards are poorly written - This is a second-grade standard:
"Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section."
Seriously? Did a second-grader write this?
1 -- Common Core State Standards are unnecessary - The notions that accountability is necessary and that students are achieving less than in past years are created by bureaucrats and encouraged by the publishing lobby. College enrollment was at an all-time high in 2009 and is holding steady in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fewer students are dropping out of high school now than they did prior to No Child Left Behind. So, why do we need Common Core State Standards? Could it be to build the coffers of the publishing companies, who create the "teach-to-the-test" tutorial programs?

This is cross posted at ASCD Edge


  1. I encourage you to read a couple of short pieces that address some of these "I hate" strands.

    For #5 on creativity and #3 on narrowing: http://hechingerreport.org/content/there-are-no-miracles-but-there-are-teachers-an-educators-view-on-the-common-core_8045/

    For #4 on fiction:

    1. Mr. B, I appreciate your input, but I never suggested that the Common Core mandates 70 percent reading in ELA. It does, however, call for more nonfiction/informational, reading. This is still a problem, as it promotes the fallacy that understanding informational texts creates literacy. Reading makes people literate. I suggest a big dose of Stephen Krashen to you and the CCSS folks. If you want kids to read more, you have to promote fiction. The rest will take care of itself.