Gerson: Why Common Core Won’t Work

Diane Ravitch's blog

Raymond Gerson teaches at Austin Community College.

Will Common Core Produce Students Who Become Common?

By Raymond Gerson

Words can become like seeds for self-fulfilling prophecies because of the power of expectation. So let’s take a look at the words “Common Core.”

One definition for the word “common” is “of no special quality.” In other words “ordinary.” According to Roget’s Thesaurus some synonyms for the word “common” are “commonplace, everyday, ordinary, humdrum, standard, mediocre, run-of-the-mill and a dime a dozen”. Some of the antonyms are “exceptional, uncommon, extraordinary, original, excellent, noble, noteworthy, valuable and rare”. At your “core” or essence and foundation which of these would you prefer to be?

Are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) a one size fits all approach that will produce commonplace students and commonness? Shouldn’t the purpose of education be to develop the whole person and to awaken the unique potential within individuals? Isn’t…

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