With unmatched clarity, here, Peter Greene of this informative and entertaining blog explains many of the concerns surrounding the Common Core, Pearson, and other ‘reformy stuff’. It behooves us to take these concerns seriously….
“…Standards are your destination. Curriculum is your road map. Standards say “You will be at the corner of East 9th and Superior in Cleveland on Sunday at noon.” Curriculum is the directions you pulled up on mapquest and the travel plans you made with them.
The more specific my standards, the less freedom I have to create curriculum. What if the standards say that I will travel to Cleveland in less than three hours using only large highways, arriving with no food in the care and at least five gallons of gas in the tank? Now all manner of details about the trip, from vehicle to route to travel speed have all been pre-decided for me.
However, fuzzy standards also tend to limit freedom in writing curriculum, particularly when coupled with large penalties. …”
“…Supporters who say that the Core is just completely divorced from a national curriculum and of course all curriculum control stays local are being disingenuous. CCSS does not mandate a national curriculum, but it ploughs the road, opens the path, greases the skids, and directs traffic toward it. The Core Standards make it hugely likely that we will not only have a national curriculum, but also that it will created by some corporation (best bet– one whose name starts with “P” and end s with “earson”)….”