Common Core: Diluting education |

Common Core: Diluting education

When the debate over Common Core school standards came to a Franklin Regional High School forum, proponents lauded this latest attempt at academic excellence through central planning and critics challenged the farming out of so-called “standards” to a bureaucracy far removed from any school district.

And Pennsylvania ups that ante with standards that supposedly are more rigorous than what’s found nationally, says acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq. Really? Panelist Ze’ev Wurman, a former U.S. Department of Education official, called the commonwealth’s standards “a diluted, dumbed-down version.”

To wit, testing “proficient” in Algebra 1 is the bar set for students supposedly ready for college-level work. But “proficiency” in Algebra 1 alone isn’t enough to prepare students for a community college, Mr. Wurman said.

Joan Benso, president of the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, says Common Core sets “a floor for consistency.” It’s the same central-planning argument made by every education bureaucrat since Jimmy Carter’s federal Department of Education bowed. Relegating education standards — let alone local control — to a bureaucracy is the reason public education is “broken at its root,” says Peg Luksik, a former consultant with the federal education department.

As demonstrated at this forum, and at debates around the country, the case against Common Core is far more convincing than any argument in support of it.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.