A question: Should our school adopt the Common Core?

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Sheepish admission: I've entirely ignored the whole Common Core debate.  I know, I know — now I need to hand back my Bona Fide Educational Puzzler certificate!

Once upon a time, I supported the Common Core because I'm pro-innovation: the nation needs a single marketplace for curriculum. I'm in favor of a level playing field for people who create curriculum — I'm especially thinking here of the JUMP Math people. It doesn't help them to have to recraft their product to the billions of zillions of state and local curriculum requirements.

And those billions of zillions of requirements aren't tremendously different, anyhow — so it didn't seem like there was much of an argument for keeping them separate.

But then my support dwindled when Diane Ravitch — long a hero of mine — turned against the Common Core. I kept meaning to get into the debate, but was turned off when the conversation was hijacked by the crazy wing of the Republican party.

[After typing that last sentence, I surfed online for good examples of anti-Common-Core whack-a-goguery to link to. After 10 depressing minutes, I decided that you could do that for yourself, if you wanted to, but that I wouldn't pollute this blog with any samplings. YOU'RE WELCOME.]

So now I'm a man without an opinion. Which can be a very helpful state.

Should our school adopt the Common Core?

What are the advantages? (Will some parents demand it? Will it make our curriculum easier to transfer elsewhere? Will it help the kids who transfer into our school, and transfer out?)

What are the disadvantages? (Would it meaningfully restrict our curricular choices?)

And, maybe most importantly — what's the simplest way to find out more? (I'll admit that reading any document written in "educational officialese" is almost impossible for me, doubly so if it's on the computer. So popular guides are much preferred!)

(Note that this is an utterly different question than should everyone adopt the Common Core.)

Brandon Hendrickson

Seattle, WA