We knew it would be coming – especially when prospective presidential candidates feel a need to sound off in opposition of something.
It has arrived!
The political opposition to the Common Core Standards.
Many of us remember the promising days of the “School to Work Opportunities Act of 1994” – legislation designed to facilitate the creation of a universal, high quality school-to-work transition system. The legislation was not intended to minimize any focus on traditional academics, but rather to enhance the learning experience of individuals who desired to practice “critical skills” in a work-based learning environment.
School to Work had great promise.
That is, until the staunch conservatives and religious right rose up in arms to oppose it and eventually defund the program.
Now it’s happening again – but this time the same groups and conservative presidential hopefuls are rising in opposition.
An article worth reading is Jonathan Martin’s recent piece on the front page of the Sunday, April 20, 2014 edition of the New York Times entitled “As G.O.P. Wedge, The Common Core Cuts Both Ways.”
Martin points out how the presidential hopefuls have taken up the call of opposition mainly because the Common Core Standards were a product of the Obama administration. They’ve coined the phrase “Obamacore” as a punch line in rallies.
Personally, I can understand why the far right conservatives would oppose the Common Core Standards. These standards, and the accompanying assessment tools, are intended to teach and assess critical thinking.
The main argument of the conservatives is that they want such standards to be created at the state level and not federal. That is their main vocal point, but it’s simply nonsense.
They’re not thinking about the needs for change in the educational system in this country toward more critical thinking and problem solving.
Let’s just hope that a bit of critical thinking and reasoning rules in this debate.
The alternative is to take another step backward.