Standards Letter to the Editor

Common-Core Standards As ‘Magical Thinking’

July 12, 2010 1 min read

To the Editor:

In his Commentary “Standards and the Art of Magical Thinking” (June 9, 2010), Thomas Newkirk describes the writing standards put forth by the Common Core State Standards Initiative as “utopian fictions, illusory, magical thinking,” which really nails the core-folks on the head. Why politicians and educational bureaucrats support such standards is obvious. It’s more troubling to learn that teachers’ organizations have gotten on board—no doubt also for political reasons, and certainly not for the sake of decreasing the student dropout rate.

Since most states are leaping onto the recklessly moving train (see “Allies Shift Focus Toward Promoting Standards Adoption” in the same issue), the only hope left to us, it seems, is that the mass failure that Mr. Newkirk predicts will follow upon adoption of the core standards will “morph into more modest ‘real’ standards,” as he says, before thousands of students are seriously damaged.

Edgar H. Schuster

Melrose Park, Pa.

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 2010 edition of Education Week as Common-Core Standards As ‘Magical Thinking’


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Education Funding Webinar
From Crisis to Opportunity: How Districts Rebuild to Improve Student Well-Being
K-12 leaders discuss the impact of federal funding, prioritizing holistic student support, and how technology can help.
Content provided by Salesforce.org

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
Standards Opinion After All That Commotion, Was the Common Core a Big Nothingburger?
The Common Core State Standards may not have had an impact on student outcomes, but they did make school improvement tougher and more ideological.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards New Media Literacy Standards Aim to Combat 'Truth Decay'
The RAND Corporation has released a set of media literacy standards designed to help teach students to identify misinformation.
6 min read
Visual shows a young woman lying down and watching live news content on her mobile phone.
gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Standards How to Assess English-Learners' Needs From a Distance? Here's Some Help
With schools unable to conduct in-person evaluations, schools must find new ways to determine if students need English-language-learner support services.
2 min read