Education

HuffPost Magazine Examines Cracks in the Common Core

By Mark Walsh — February 07, 2014 2 min read
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The Huffington Post is known for offering a blizzard of Web news content, often in short, punchy pieces. But the site led by Arianna Huffington also has an electronic magazine, Huffington.—the period is part of the name—that goes into greater depth.

Such was the case with the magazine’s recent examination of the Common Core State Standards. “A Troubling New Load for America’s Students” is the cover headline for the piece by HuffPost education reporter Joy Resmovits.

“If implemented effectively—that is, if the standards actually reach the classroom and teachers are given the materials, training, and support they need—the Core will dramatically change what it means to be a student in American public schools,” she writes.

“Yet, it appears that after three years of relative quiet, the initiative is poised to become a political football, both imperiling its implementation and potentially undermining any good its supporters think it could do,” Resmovits continues. “Detractors across the political spectrum have associated the Common Core with, at various points, ‘zombies,’ ‘Hitler’ and ‘vampires.’”

Right-wing organizers are channeling their anger into a more specific campaign to bring down the common core, she says, citing the FreedomWorks action plan against the standards. Meanwhile, proponents face “grounded concerns from academics, parents, and some left-wing politicians about the true rigor of the standards and the limits they could place on higher-performing students,” Resmovits writes.

The common core was “conceived in a political vacuum,” she says, and she spends most of the rest of her piece tracing the background and “how we got here.” She talks to key players such as Chris Minnich of the Council of Chief State School Officers, current College Board President David Coleman, and Tom Luna, the Republican schools chief in Idaho, among others.

Resmovits concludes that some of the common core’s creators have come to the realization that “by not involving enough stakeholders on the front end, they opened themselves up to much of the current criticism.”

Besides being a good read, the Huffington. piece is nicely laid out in a magazine that appears meant to be read on an iPad and other tablets. (It took me a little while to get the free download onto my new iPad mini, and then find it in the Newstand app. I’m not sure whether it was free for me because I just downloaded the app.

It’s the kind of cover piece that even a casual reader might delve into in a print magazine in a waiting room. I’m not sure whether that kind of serendipity exists for electronic magazines.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.

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