College & Workforce Readiness

Reading Roundup in Common-Standards Adoption Season

By Catherine Gewertz — July 29, 2010 1 min read
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Greetings, common-standards junkies. I keep waiting for the crash of the mighty adoption wave, since we are only a few days away from the Aug. 2 Race to the Top deadline (maximum points, remember?). But it could be that the RTT-driven adoptions have crested (nearly all those still in the running have adopted, as we told you when the semifinalists were announced). So in the quiet of the moment, with no updated map to post, I can feed your habit with a selection of common-standards stuff from the blogosphere.

The Washington Post‘s “Answer Sheet” blog has thoughts from cognitive scientist Dan Willingham about what’s missing from the common-standards movement. In his blog for, the American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess examines the division between conservatives who are “cuddling up” to the standards and those who are kicking them out of bed, and finds that both make good points.

Tom Vander Ark, over at, reaches for an iPhone metaphor on the common standards, a touchy idea given the device’s Big Antenna Problem. But he didn’t mean to imply that the common standards are headed for their own massive technical glitch. Check for yourself.

Following up last week’s fireworks over Massachusetts’ adoption, The Boston Globe is lamenting in an editorial today the governor’s decision not to reappoint the state board’s two most critical voices on the standards. Its point—valuable expertise lost—will echo nationwide this fall, as political turnover in many states will raise the question of sustained commitment to the standards. (Some observers have also wondered how intense states’ devotion to the common core will be once they know they have not won Race to the Top money. The Fordham Institute’s Checker Finn made that point recently in a recent EdWeek story.)

Hess, Vander Ark, Finn and others can be found tossing the common-standards ball back and forth in a lively discussion at the National Journal, as well.

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