Porter-Magee and Stern On Common Core: Nothing to See Here, Move Along

Apple Core PushpinToday I saw a link to a video that’s an excellent summary of Common Core, but underneath it was a link to an article from today at NRO by Kathleen Porter-Magee and Sol Stern that purports to tell The Truth about Common Core. What it actually does is brush criticisms aside, stating they’re wrong, and specifically naming Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck. It’s a very brief article to make such sweeping statements.

Its claims don’t match up with things I’ve read about Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by people at sites as diverse as American Principles Project, Cato, Conservative Teachers of America, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Concerned Women For America, the Federalist Society, and NRO’s Stanley Kurtz. I’ve linked to work done by these and more, including an article in The Atlantic and a statement by the Home School Legal Defense Association. That’s a diverse group, and they’re not tin-foil conspiracy sites.

So what’s going on? Getting down to brass tacks and basic facts:

Neal McCluskey of The Cato Institute, who has written about Common Core, and to whom I’ve linked previously, this afternoon began the work of fisking Porter-Magee and Stern in Look at No Child Left Behind. See, No Federal Control. Wait…

In what is either a case of blinders-wearing or just poor timing, today the Fordham Institute’s Kathleen Porter-Magee has an article on NRO, co-written with the Manhattan Institute’s Sol Stern, in which she and Stern take to task national curriculum standards critics who assert, among other things, that the Common Core is being pushed by President Obama. Yes, that’s the same Kathleen Porter-Magee whom it was announced a couple of days ago would be on a federal “technical review” panel to evaluate federally funded tests that go with the Common Core.

The ironic timing of the article alone is probably sufficient to rebut arguments suggesting that the Common Core isn’t very much a federal child. Still, let’s take apart a few of the specifics Porter-Magee and Stern offer on the federal aspect. (Other Core critics, I believe, will be addressing contentions about Common Core content)….

Go to Cato to read what McCluskey has to say about federal control and how he effectively rebuts the NRO article. I will add any updates I find—I do want to point out that Porter-Magee hardly seems to be an unbiased observer.

As to Common Core content, here are a few facts:

In Common Core Curriculum: Retrograde Reading & Zombie Math I linked to an article about 500 early childhood professionals who signed a statement opposing the K–3 CCSS, and I name other educators who’ve gone on the record against it.

…Dr. James Milgram [Professor of Math at Stanford University, emeritus] and Dr. Sandra Stotsky [Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas], two members of the Common Core Validation Committee who did not sign off on the standards. Dr. Stotsky gives further details on her reasoning in this letter, and in her testimony about the Common Core ELA Standards before the Indiana Senate Education Committee, she states that a total of five committee members did not sign off on the final CCSS.

Christopher H. Tienken, editor of AASA (American Association of School Administrators) Journal of Scholarship and Practice, unsparingly scorches Common Core in his commentary, Common Core State Standards: An Example of Data-less Decision Making….

Truth in American Education (TAE) has a page that looks at the Myths Versus Facts of Common Core that very specifically refutes some of those “truths” in the NRO column. My post Stopping Common Core links to white papers and numerous articles and sites about Common Core.

You know truth is important! Let me say that again, truth is important! I’ve seen nothing that fails to hold up under the criticism of Porter-Magee and Sol Stern—but I’ve seen some statements that very specifically refute their claims.

The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

So examine away! Don’t believe everything you read. Get down to brass tacks about the facts. And if you haven’t read my posts on Propaganda, now would be a good time to start!

Oh, and here’s that video.
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Apple Core modified from Apple Stark by Roberta F. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, and Thumbtack by Kalan. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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