‘Bill, You’re Wrong about Common Core’

Sep 12, 2014 by

Peter Wood – For years, Bill Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, has avoided taking a position on the Common Core K-12 State Standards. But yesterday he declared himself in favor. His essay in The Wall Street Journal, under the headline “The Conservative Case for Common Core,” dwells on the idea that conservatives generally favor good books, shared truths, and education that equips students with basic math and the ability to “read and distill complex sentences Bennett drives the point that “certain abilities” ought to be “common knowledge of all.” Just so. But then he proceeds as though “common knowledge” and “The Common Core™” are one and the same. They’re not.

He writes that “the fundamental idea behind a core curriculum” is “preserving and emphasizing what’s essential.” A true core curriculum does preserve and emphasize the “essential” in contrast to the merely trendy, the happenstance, the contingent, the experimental, and the trivial. That doesn’t mean that everything that hoists the flag of “core curriculum” really is “core curriculum.” Look around American higher education today and you can barely help crashing into “core curricula” that are barely distinguishable from swarms of intellectual gnats. Bill Bennett knows that about as well as anyone.

via ‘Bill, You’re Wrong about Common Core’ | Minding The Campus.

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