Diverging Views on Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — April 19, 2010 1 min read
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A sample of the divergent views on common standards for you this morning. Ed Miller of the Alliance for Childhood notes the split in two pieces that ran recently in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post.

In the Globe op-ed, Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Diane Levin argue that the standards won’t close the achievement gap because they will do nothing to address the inequities in the education system that cause it. They say the standards will impose more rote learning on young children and drive play further from school curricula. (Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., was also quoted in our story about the early childhood community’s views of the common standards.)

Miller notes quite a different view from that expressed by Carlsson-Paige and Levin, and that comes from “Core Knowledge” founder E. D. Hirsch Jr., in The Answer Sheet blog in The Washington Post. Cognitive science, he argues, suggests that common standards will indeed improve student achievement, and he commends the standards writers for charting “a way out of the incoherence that reading instruction has become.” (Core Knowledge, as you might recall, announced a plan in February to align its key curriculum sequence to the common standards and make it available for free.)

More diverging views from Massachusetts, as well. This supportive piece in the Globe from former Massachusetts education commissioner David Driscoll, and this critical piece in the Lowell Sun from the folks at the Pioneer Institute.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.