UPDATED: Counterpunches on Common Curriculum

By Catherine Gewertz — May 13, 2011 1 min read
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Just to keep you up to speed on the Dueling Manifesti about common curriculum: Two of the organizers of Manifesto #2 issued responses to yesterday’s missive by one of the organizers of Manifesto #1.

You might recall that Checker Finn and Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute issued some thoughts and recommendations yesterday in the fight between those who support a common curriculum and tests for the common standards (Manifesto #1) and those who think it’s a bad idea (Manifesto #2).

Today’s round comes from two of the organizers of Manifesto #2. Here are Jay Greene’s thoughts (which get grammatical; I kid you not. I can’t make this stuff up), and here are Sandra Stotsky’s thoughts.

[UPDATED:] Another of the counterpunches, though not by a signatory to either of the Manifesti, comes from Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute today. He argues that common standards, curriculum and tests are by definition “national” curricula because of the federal government’s involvement in funding the assessment consortia, and in offering incentives, via the Race to the Top program, to adopt common standards.

That drew a response from U.S. Ed Department spokesman Peter Cunningham, who said this in an email circulated to a broad group of common-core arguers: “Just for the record: we are for high standards, not national standards and we are for a well-rounded curriculum, not a national curriculum. There is a big difference between funding development of curriculum—which is something we have always done—and mandating a national curriculum—which is something we have never done. And yes—we believe in using incentives to advance our agenda.”

You can track the duel through our Twitter bundle, too.

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