September 4, 2013

What if President Obama was anti-Common Core?

The president and other powerful men, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Bill Gates quickly come to mind, have pushed the Common Core so hard that 45 states have adopted it, virtually without question.

It's no secret that President Obama is very much in favor of the Common Core State Standards. Just about every speech he delivers on education centers around higher standards and accountability.
With these omnipresent bureaucrats touting the Common Core as the be all, end all of education reform, many education publishers, consultants and other opportunists are churning out Common Core success programs faster than you can say, "Race to the Top."

For their part, public school teachers participate robotically in professional development sessions about teaching Common Core Standards as readily as they create seating charts and distribute textbooks. Why? Because they are told by administrators to do so, regardless of the fact that there is little if any evidence that the Common Core is effective.

Still, the Common Core marches forward, with teachers beating the drums that carry its beat, mainly because they feel they have no other choice. What if the table turned, though?

What if President Obama and his cronies were against the Common Core? What if Arne Duncan preached the deleterious effects of standardization, and what if Bill Gates said he'd only give money to districts practicing 21st-century progressive methods?

Is it possible that publishing companies, like Pearson, might suddenly turn out teachers guides on project-based learning? Might books like Role Reversal become New York Times Bestsellers?

I say, for just one moment, let all educators, administrators and teachers alike, pretend that President Obama hates the Common Core. How would your school and your classroom change?

Isn't it time to take back American education?

Cross posted at

Don't miss ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at and Mark's new book, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom