The writer of the Feb. 8 editorial from the Tri-City Herald headlined “Common Core ideals make sense” argues that we should use Common Core state standards and its tests because so much energy has already been expended on them. That’s pragmatic reasoning, like that used by builders who decide to install a roof they find to be faulty because it was already paid for and cut. I believe lots of the energy expended on Common Core state standards has found them to be inferior to previous standards. I believe they were also adopted undemocratically, in a rush effort to get a higher Race to the Top score. Conflicts of interest abound too, I believe. In the roof analogy, that would be like finding out that the materials were made by the company that held a monopoly on expensive roof repairs, and that the installer was up for a manager’s position there. Minimum standards that all school districts should hold to and work from are fine. All roofs should keep out water, not be toxic, and last at least 10 years. But the other ideas behind Common Core state standards — which I believe are to enrich corporations that sell educational products and services and to make data miners happy — are against students’ best interests. I will be filing a test opt-out form for my child, because although I’m proud of educators who have pushed back on this, I think the main responsibility lies with families, because they are the clients and therefore should have the most say.
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