Stephen Krashen letter on Common Core: Our concerns are not just "noise"
"Moving beyond the noise of the common core" (Nov/Dec 2014) reads like advice from a mature adult to excitable children: don't pay attention to the critics, just embrace the core. Focus on implementation, on making the common core work. But many of us are convinced that the common core is a disaster, a tsunami that could destroy American education. Our concerns are not "noise." They are very serious.
Briefly, there is no need for the common core: The problem in American education is not teacher quality, nor is it a lack of tough standards. The problem is our unacceptably high rate of poverty. Poverty has a devastating impact on school achievement. When scholars control for the effect of poverty, American students score at the top of the world on international tests.
The common core makes no attempt to protect children from the effects of poverty. Instead it imposes, as Susan Ohanian accurately describes it, “a radical untried curriculum overhaul and … nonstop national testing," a plan that is already costing billions, and, thanks to the requirement that testing be online, will cost billions for years to come. The common core promises to bleed every spare dollar from education, all to profit computer and testing companies, without a shred of evidence that it will help students.
This is not the time for blind obedience.
State Rep. Rosemary Brown will host a hearing to discuss