There’s nothing as satisfying as letting someone else say “I told you so” – instead of having to do it yourself. So I will let Greg Forster, one of the Jay P. Greene blog writers, do it for me. The issue is the “common core standards” movement: the idea that states are too incompetent or lazy to develop decent standards for educational attainment for their students, and that a sort of model, ideal, “common core” set of standards could be developed and merely serve as a spur to greater achievement for the states.
Jay Greene and his colleagues have been warning Common Core cheerleaders – the most avid of whom are at Checker Finn’s Fordham Institute, together with Tom Hess of AEI – of the dangers here.
Greene and his colleagues had no inside information or conspiracy theory. They merely know what we know at Heartland – that “freeing as many people as possible from the tyranny of others is the best way to achieve harmony and prosperity” – and that the natural tendency of organizations and governments is to resist this freedom.
But enough about us – let’s get to the gloating in Greg Forster’s post:
He who sleeps with dogs gets fleas. Conservatives who spent the last year pooh-poohing concerns about federal government coercion lying behind the “voluntary” “state-driven” adoption of Common Core, and stigmatizing as “paranoid” those of us who sounded the alarm, are now shocked and saddened to discover that – hold on to your hats! – the federal government is gearing up to use the ridiculous and unobtainable NCLB 100% proficiency requirement as a bludgeon to force the last remaining holdout states to bow down and adopt Common Core.
If it’s too much to ask that they come out and admit that it was always a bad idea to sign on to an agenda that was obviously being driven by nationalizers, much less that they apologize to those of us whom they smeared and laughed at along the way, could we now at least ask for a moratorium on the silly “we can quit any time we want!” argument?
Greg concludes, “Common Core is irreversibly associated with nationalization. It already was before the latest word about NCLB waivers; that news doesn’t create, but merely confirms, the permanent link between CC and nationalization of education. You want genuinely state-driven common standards? Create some.”
Read the whole piece here – and be sure to click on the links if you enjoy the sight of education reformers – very good guys, too – writhing in agony, because they forgot the practical reasons to prefer free-market solutions rather than plans dictated even by a philosopher-king like Arne Duncan.