The common core

The words “common core” are being somewhat villainized in educational circles these days. And sadly, I think it’s justifiable.

Wikipedia defines the common core as:

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an education initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers(CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent education standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.[1]

It makes sense to have standards. It makes sense to measure against these standards. It makes particular sense to have a common standard for ELA and math. But. How is this really manifesting itself in education today?

Have a look at this video where comedian Louis CK speaks to the common core in an appearance on David Letterman:

It’s funny, and it’s not. Louis CK also posted a number of pics of the homework his kids are doing. Check them out here:

One tweet in particular kinda sums it up:

My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!

We really have to be careful as education continues to evolve. Standards are good. Assessment is good.  But…  it’s easy to see how quickly it can all go off the rails.

There’s an election coming in school boards across the province of Quebec. Education matters. And like it or not, school boards and their Councils of Commissioners have a key role to play. Make sure you are electing the people you think will support positive educational leadership; people who can support a real vision of 21st century learning and the people who understand that they are accountable to the public at large. It’s important to get out and vote.




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