Teachers of the Left and Right Should Support Common Core

Roland Dodds

Roland Dodds is an educator, researcher and father who writes about politics, culture and education. He spent his formative years in radical left wing politics, but now prefers the company of contrarians of all political stripes (assuming they aren't teetotalers). He is a regular inactive at Harry's Place and Ordinary Times.

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67 Responses

  1. Morat20 says:

    I just find it hilarious that so many people think Common Core is a federal program, and decry it on the ground’s of “State’s Rights”.

    The Federal Government had jack-all to do with it. If anything, CC is the result of the federal government either refusing, or being Constitutionally unable, to form a national set of standards. So 30+ states got together and mutually created it.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Morat20 says:

      I’d say it’s on the Common Core people for doing such a bad job communicating their ideas to people. After all, I think that the various discussions about jokes and humor have firmly established the idea that if you say something and people don’t understand it, that’s *your* fault for being such a poor communicator.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Given the level of outrage, I have to agree. It would appear that Schools/Common Core advocates did a bad job of communicating the content of the standard.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck says:

        We’re in agreement that 30+ state governments working in concert on what they thought was a pretty unobjectionable set of standards were totally unprepared for…well, this.

        I’d say it came out of nowhere, but I’m from Texas. I’ve seen the stupid that blows in about education. The chairman of our state board of education was a YEC. I’ve seen members trying to remove “critical thinking” from the curriculum because “we already taught this in third grade”.

        I’ve seen them lose their sh*t over the idea that, in fact, the Bible is not the basis for US law (oh god, the Barton quotes…) and the less said about the changes they want to the history curriculum the better.

        And they are representing a big, loud, noisy constituency. I won’t lie. There’s a pretty big block of Americans who believe their children should be taught exactly as they were. Well, to be specific, to be taught as they fuzzily remember being taught. It’s amazing what does and doesn’t stick out about your education 30+ years later. Judging by one rant I read from an acquaintance, Texas education consists of reading Shakespeare plays, learning that the Civil War was solely about State’s Rights and started by the North, and multiplication tables and spelling drills. And some bible study. And diagramming sentences. Oh god, the epic LOVE for diagramming sentences. That’s apparently English, K-12. Spelling bees and diagramming sentences. Everything else is nonsense.

        I went to the same schools as he did. I remember it…differently. 🙂Report

    • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

      And the point of that is just what? There was nothing preventing state boards of regents from designing their own examination series. (That the schoolteacher-poster objects to unmanipulable standards is unremarkable). As for the precise content of the standards, here’s one objeection here.


      Nothing about iris scans.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

        30+ states decided there was a point. Go ask THEM. I’m just pointing out a basic fact: It wasn’t a federal program. It was done entirely by states for state’s and the Federal Government had jack-all to do with it.

        FWIW, that link is hilariously wrong. CC doesn’t specify a single work. That’s entirely up to the districts. CC specifies things like (for juniors and seniors) “Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.”.

        Or, in simpler terms, “Read this book. Be able to talk about what the author says, what the author implies, and what the author leaves up the reader — and be able to discuss why the author might have chosen to do one over the other”.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

          FWIW, that link is hilariously wrong. CC doesn’t specify a single work.

          You didn’t read the article.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

            I did. It was hilarious.

            “We don’t read Wind in the Willow to understand it! we read it to be entertained! We’re losing the latter in schools! These schools keep insisting students READ and THINK about it!”

            The implication that understanding a work somehow cheapens it, lessens it was the funniest part of all.

            What you linked to was akin to someone, having listened to a games programmer describe the pathfinding AI for enemies in a game, complain that “All that garbage is just getting in the way of the player’s enjoyment of the enemies not running into walls”.

            Because CC is instructions for teachers — methods and evaluations of students. The students read the book. The CC stuff is designed so that teachers ensure they understand it, and don’t just read it and miss the entire point of the book.

            Which you know, strangely kids do. They’re not adults, you’d be surprised at the things they can miss. And it makes the work more meaningful, not less, for them to understand it.

            Unless, of course, you’re of the mind that literature — even ‘great literature’ — is there entirely for atmosphere. A pleasing jaunt that does not linger on the memory, nor convey, teach, or impart anything of value. But if that was the case, why would you care if they were taught it at all?Report

        • Alan Scott in reply to Morat20 says:

          @morat20, you’re wrong here. CC doesn’t specify which specific written works are to be taught, but it does specify that less emphasis should be placed on stories & poetry generally, which has the effect of reducing exposure to the classics.

          The theory, as I understand it, is that students whose education is overly focused on fiction are being short-changed. Neither reading Shakespeare nor reading Maya Angelou is going to prepare a student to read an Organic Chemistry textbook, or write an analysis contrasting America’s present-day interventions in north Africa with those of the 18th century, for example.

          Frankly, I support that change. After all Anthony Esolen presumably had an education rich in the classics, and his article reads like the ranting of a fictional aristocratic amphibian. Perhaps if he’d spend less time reading the Wind and the Willows and more time reading non-fictional texts, he could have managed to write a half-decent op ed.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Alan Scott says:

            Eh, it can be interpreted that way — but CC is about what students should be able do, and doesn’t specify works. The author, from what I could Google, is complaining not about CC but I think New York’s state curriculum — which was developed using CC as the baseline, but begins to get specific by naming some specific works and specific results — actually developing curriculum rather standards for such.

            It’s not like you have to take my word for it — the CC stuff is freely available, and nowhere does it specify anything like that. (I mean feel free to point it out, I could have missed it!). How a given state or school district formulates it’s own curriculum is up to them, but the common core standards don’t say jack about “less poetry!” or anything like that.

            Bluntly put, works are works. The key goals of CC’s literature side is the ability to comprehend the work, which is why they spend a lot of time using highly technical words describing the sort of comprehension they have in mind.

            The idea behind the literature standards boils down to “Assign Hamlet to students who will understand Hamlet, rather than just making them read it at an arbitrary grade level just so we can say they studied Hamlet”. Which requires teaching them how to do that. Which is the sort of goal English teachers generally strive for, but the point of standards is…writing that goal down and formalizing it. You can find this particular strand of thought in some of the appendices, which notes that there’s a disconnect between works assigned and reading ability in general. Which does no one, teacher or student, any favors.

            But like I’ve said over and over — the CC package doesn’t specify a single work of literature, doesn’t talk about how much time should be devoted to poetry or writing or the study of the Civil War. It talks about what students should and shouldn’t be able to do in a given subject at a given grade level. For English, it talks about ability to assess works — but not a word on which works. The closest it comes to is mentioning complexity — which is closer to saying “Hamlet is high school material not junior high” than saying “Teach/don’t teach Hamlet”.

            Common Core isn’t “We should teach Book X rather than Story Y”. That’s curriculum, developed by your local and state school boards. Common Core are the standards for that curriculum — the goals it should be working for. CC is “you should be able to run a 5 minute mile by the end of the year”. Your state and local curriculum is the actual training plan to get you from the couch to a 5 minute mile.Report

            • Alan Scott in reply to Morat20 says:

              @morat20 ,
              I refer you to the official common core website. Specifically point 3.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Alan Scott says:

                Also in grades 6-12, the standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects ensure that students can independently build knowledge in these disciplines through reading and writing. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening should span the school day from K-12 as integral parts of every subject.

                Oh, you’re reading it wrong. I know exactly what that’s about — good lord, my wife trains teachers on that. (We’re not common core, but the idea isn’t new).

                That’s talking about reading requirements in non-English classes. That is, as part of the curriculum development, classes such as “Physics”, or “Art” or “History” should be assigning non-fiction works and assessing those skills

                It’s — for lack of a better word — a holistic approach to ELA. “Reading” and “writing” aren’t subjects JUST for English class. CC — unsurprisingly — wants students to utilize those skills from reading Shakespeare when reading non-fiction (like, say, books assigned in a history class) — and when writing papers, essays, or just long-form responses in their art class.

                That’s not carving out more space in English for non-fiction — that’s encouraging science, art, history, social studies, theater, etc to assign relevant works to read. (Heck, my wife actually specializes in a writing assessment boot camp for non-ELA teachers. A down and dirty “this is the stuff you’re looking for, don’t let them slack off on written responses just because they’re not in English class”).

                It’s literally spelled out in that paragraph. It’s emphasized in the last line again.Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    [Golf clap]Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Common Core – yet another victim of internet outrage, offense, hysteria, and mind-f*#kingly stupid memes.

    ETA By this, I mean that much of the criticism of CC comes from memes & viral posts that show some school/teacher doing something stupid or some parent misunderstanding what is being done. Those posts are then held aloft as proof of a systemic problem.

    I.E Anecdote are not data, but political internet memes live & die on the public constantly forgetting that.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      “My kid added two numbers together and got the right answer and the teacher marked it wrong, bluhbluhbluh Common Core!”

      “Yeah, what your kid did was like driving a screw with a hammer. Would you really say ‘well it went into the board, I dunno what your problem is’ if I said that was wrong?”Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck says:

        “Yeah, what your kid did was like driving a screw with a hammer. Would you really say ‘well it went into the board, I dunno what your problem is’ if I said that was wrong?”

        Space awesome!Report

    • Hoosegow Flask in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Americans are generally bad at math and hate it, but they’ll be damned if their kids don’t follow in their footsteps.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I don’t think we can understate parental misunderstanding of the content and methods contributing to the outrage. Now, some of that falls on schools for not engaging in enough parent ed (which, like it or not teachers, is now part of our job description), but people were all too willing to dismiss something out of hand because they didn’t understand it.

      One thing that went viral was Louis CK ranting about how dumb the math homework his daughter had was. And it was Louis CK and he’s funny and he was ranting and everyone hates Common Core so it was super popular. But then a much less viral response emerged wherein a mathematician pointed out why what the students were being asked to do was actually superior to the method that Louis CK was advocating. But it was a math nerd supporting CC so it wasn’t very sticky.

      Have their been missteps along the way with CC? Absolutely. But so much of the outrage is A) mistaken and/or B) aimed at exactly the wrong source. It is mindboggling.

      Note: Though I am an educator, I work in private schools and therefore have no vested interest in the success of Common Core outside of being a supporter of quality education in general. From what I’ve seen of Common Core, the benchmarks are pretty solid and the implementation of the approach to achieving them vary from state to state, with some being pretty darn good and some being a bit of a headscratcher.Report

  4. Murali says:

    I’m of two minds about this: In principle, there seems to be nothing wrong with teaching certain basic facts and skills to everyone (though we might quibble about the scope of this common core). Yet, things like critical thinking are not basic skills. Most people do just fine in their lives without critically thinking about anything. i.e. there seems to be an uncritical (or perhaps inadequately critical) acceptance of the value of critical thinking. This critical thinking orthodoxy (which is what it is) is an illiberal imposition on communitarian and hierarchical modes of lives. It is akin to teaching Jews how to worship Christ. Or perhaps more accurately it is the imposition of a particular bourgeois paradigm on others for whom it has little relevance.Report

    • greginak in reply to Murali says:

      How is critical thinking an imposition on communitarian and hierarchical modes of life?Report

      • El Muneco in reply to greginak says:

        Once they’ve seen Paris, how you gonna keep ’em down on the farm?Report

        • Murali in reply to El Muneco says:

          Teaching critical thinking is not just showing the farm kid Paris, it is also saying that because Paris therefore farm may be wrong. You could after all show Paris as an example of dissolute vice.

          Also you are assuming that it is wrong to keep them down on the farm or that such an ideal has no place in a liberal society. But this latter assumption itself is not without unfounded premises. The notion that it is wrong to have a parochial outlook is itself a notion that is founded on the ideals of a particular time and place.Report

          • Roland Dodds in reply to Murali says:

            You are bringing up some very good points that I have kicked around in my head over the last year. As I started writing for OT with a piece about a turn towards conservatism with the birth of my daughter, clearly my views on what I want for my child’s education has taken a few twists and turns as of late.

            I think I will need to reflect and write a longer post addressing @murali points.Report

          • El Muneco in reply to Murali says:

            I’m sorry – we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

            If someone freely consents, without coercion, to enter such a tradition, more power to them. I don’t believe that someone who has been a victim of such indoctrination is necessarily capable of giving said free consent.Report

            • Murali in reply to El Muneco says:

              I’m wishing CK was here right now because he would have a sophisticated way of saying something which I will state very crudely: You only say that because you are blind to the things that you have been indoctrinated into believing. They are just so obvious to you that anyone who could believe otherwise is monstrous or stupid or monstrously stupid.Report

              • David in reply to Murali says:

                I think there’s also a case to be made that modernity (especially the communications platforms leaping forward), while they can be used to steer people to only certain sources, remains likely to confront most people with beliefs that challenge their communal traditions, like it or not. Therefore, communities should be identifying how their traditions can, at minimum, retain meaning and coherence in the face of other facts – which a neutrally-framed sense of critical thinking can support. Critical thinking does presume “think for yourself” in ways that may not fit all parents’ values, but I don’t see the pressure in that direction as coming from the education system, and I don’t see that emphasis as integral to the premise – you can think critically about the idea that “you” should be the key decider about the things you think about.

                And frankly, people who can do better critical thinking and have been asked to build those skills are also, I’d submit, better able to resolve conflicts through reasoning and peaceful dialogue, without the expectation that conflicts are only resolved through agreement with “right ideas” (a premise that lurks on both ends of the political spectrum these days). It’s a pathway toward compromise and non-violent accommodation. And with the political environment as it is, that seems vital right now.

                So I would take your points on critical thinking as a useful critique of how some of the educational standards are realized, and our own lack of critical thinking about them, rather than inherent to the topic. Similar to the OP!

                Or, in the analogy terms, even if someone wants to keep them on the farm, their best bet is to help them explain to people with different priors why they like farm living and value that for themselves in a world where they also appreciate Paris – not to attempt to control the way they’re exposed to Paris or how it’s characterized.Report

      • Murali in reply to greginak says:

        In such modes of life, questioning the words, norms and authorities of the community are vices, not virtues. Teaching that questioning authority is good is the imposition of a particular ideal on students. An ideal that not all communities or peoples in a pluralistic society will necessarily share.Report

        • Roland Dodds in reply to Murali says:

          @murali I can agree with this partially. I am using the term “critical thinking” in a broader sense than is often applied by liberals/leftists. Rather than seeing education solely as a way to challenge dominate society, I define critical thinking as the ability to rationally support ones’ conclusion with reasoned, researched evidence. Perhaps that mere pedagogical approach could threaten certain cultures and regimes, but I can see how said skills could also fit into their conservative cultural framework.

          Thus, when I look at religious schools friends teach for (Jewish and Catholic specifically) I see that those skills are absolutely honored and instilled, even if the institution has a stated, conservative goal more aligned with instilling specific moral and values in their students. Those two things are surely not exclusive and segregated.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Murali says:

          This seems like the kind of argument that proves too much–in particular, it seems to suggest that one should teach virtually nothing, as there is virtually nothing that can be taught that members of some communities in a pluralistic culture won’t conceivably object to.Report

          • El Muneco in reply to pillsy says:

            Also, anti-vaxxers and Christian Scientists use similar arguments to support being able to continue following those traditions.Report

            • Murali in reply to El Muneco says:


              Or to be less terse, the mere fact that such beliefs are harmful to those who possess them does not give us the right to interfere with their right to propagate it to their children.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Murali says:

                That’s where we disagree, Murali. I definitely do not agree that parents – for whatever reason – have a right to knowingly and intentionally propagate actual harm to their children.Report

              • Murali in reply to El Muneco says:

                They are not knowingly and intentionally propagating actual harm. That requires that they know that such beliefs are harmful. They are knowingly and intentionally propagating a belief which is, unknown to them, actually harmful. Think about it this way. If Sam Harris is right, religious belief harms the believer. Combined with your understanding of when we can interfere, parents should not be allowed to raise their children in any particular religious belief. Centuries ago, Protestants were worried that Catholic parents were harming their children by raising them Catholic and Catholics were in turn worried that Protestant parents were similarly harming their children. Not to mention what they thought about Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. Liberal society only managed to get off the ground when everyone decided that the truth (or at least their own account of what the truth was) was not enough to license interference. Its easy enough to forget the problems with such sectarian zeal when it appears to you that your sectarian views are the ones which are obviously right and only benighted heathens and uneducated rubes could believe otherwise.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Murali says:

                I have, though we fundamentally disagree even in our principal axioms, tried to engage with you in the best traditions of my worldview. If I had failed to do that, I apologize, and did not intend to insult you openly.

                I wish you had respected me enough to do the same.Report

              • Murali in reply to El Muneco says:

                Sorry, what I said probably came across as more insulting or patronising when I didn’t intend it to. Really sorry about that.Report

              • j r in reply to Murali says:

                Or to be less terse, the mere fact that such beliefs are harmful to those who possess them does not give us the right to interfere with their right to propagate it to their children.

                The problem with that view is that it implies that people should enjoy despotic powers over their children. They do, but we place limits on those despotic powers. Parents have rights with regards to their children, but children have rights with regards to themselves.Report

          • Murali in reply to pillsy says:

            Perhaps. What it is more likely to imply is a radical decentralisation of education. Each individual community having full freedom to brainwash its members in whichever way they wish provided that each community allows its members to leave. Remember, I’m not arguing that nothing controversial should ever be taught. I’m arguing that we cannot insist that everyone teach controversial things. I also think that a distinction can be made between matters of fact (and science) which can be subject to a consensus based on the public use of reason and fundamental matters of value, which apart from affirming support for basic liberal institutions cannot generate any further consensus.Report

            • greginak in reply to Murali says:

              The obvious retort is that a child who has been “brainwashed” will have their freedom and resources limited. Their choice was proscribed before they could even conceive of it. The child is unlikely to be able to use their freedom since they don’t even know they have it or what it means.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                The problem with that obvious retort is that it seems to lead to the obvious conclusion that we, as a society, therefore have the right to make sure that your child gets proper indoctrination over your objections.

                And that’s why you should not be allowed to teach your child about (insert thing “everybody knew” 40 years ago here).Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                sigh…i didn’t state that of course and you didn’t’ answer my point. Parents can always indoctrinate their kids. That is the fun of being a parent. Parents can a do limit their children’s freedom and often their options as adults by raising them in certain ways. Raising a girl by teaching her she should always be subservient to men and must be a house wife is completely legal and currently on going. Does that likely limit the girls horizons by the time she is an adult. Of course.

                The question is more about public schools and should they never teach anything anybody might not like. That sounds like the recipe for a deeply oversensitive society where people get out raged over everything.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                That sounds like the recipe for a deeply oversensitive society where people get out raged over everything.

                Well, let’s hope something like that never happens.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                yeah it would be a shame for you to push that kind of thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                “This is why you should not say those things out loud, lest society be destroyed.”

                If I could have a list of the things I ought to say to uphold and strengthen society, I’d appreciate it.

                Maybe we could distribute it so that everyone would know what to say in public.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                So you are against free speech?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I am against shouting “fire” in crowded theaters when there is not a fire, if that’s what you’re asking.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                That clearly answers my original point i guess.Report

              • El Muneco in reply to Jaybird says:

                I admit, I am somewhat disquieted by thinking about it from this end. As I watch from the sidelines the ongoing horrors of A Beka and ACE (and, sadly, even worse!), I’m becoming more and more cynical about where the line between “bringing them up in our traditions” and “pathologically indoctrinating them in a cult” lies in the real world.

                Basically, when there’s a choice to be made between “circumscribe” and “expand horizons”, I’ll always not just support the “expand” side but also be a little suspicious of the “circumscribe” side. I understand that people who want authority to be respected might oppose the idea of questioning it – but how can you respect it if you’ve never questioned it or even considered the alternative? Critical thinking skills aren’t the least important thing you can pass on – they’re the most important.

                However, I can’t prove that the things I believe are objectively true – I like to think that it’s more likely than not that my beliefs are more true than not – but in this realm there is no objective reality. Thus the dilemma. The problem is similar to Chicken v. Egg (split 4-4, lower court ruling retained, no precedent) – can we respect a choice made by someone who was never allowed the proper toolkit to make that choice? And if not, are we justified in overriding the people who have already made the choice?

                I know which way I’d still go – but it’s Tuesday, and I’m only a cultural relativist on weekends (guess I lost a bit of liberal non-street cred there).

                Full disclosure: my upbringing was atypical, and that probably colors my views. Both my parents were freethinkers who not only never imposed their beliefs on me (in fact, modulo never attending church, I have no idea what either of them actually even believed in their heart of hearts), but gave me the freest possible access to information. I was allowed to read any book I could get my hands on (if it was above my reading level, I knew that I was on my own – so I had a misapprehension as to what a “pimp” was for years). I (fraudulently) subscribed to Playboy at 14 (with no PO box, it was delivered to our house). We had plenty of encyclopedias around the house (mostly A-B or A-D, whatever was free before we had to pay for the rest, since we couldn’t afford full runs of all of them), and I was encouraged to use them as much as possible (I successfully defended markdowns on a number of tests, which didn’t endear me to my third-grade teacher). This is my normal. YMMV.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to El Muneco says:

                Hey, I was raised to be a Young Earth Creationist.

                I did a good job of learning all of the dialectical tools that I needed to deconstruct the arguments given by the evolutionists (who only learned enough biology to pass the multiple choice tests).

                My problem was that the whole “THE TRUTH IS IMPORTANT” thing was slammed into me hard enough that I eventually saw a bunch of cracks in the whole YEC thing and went where the cracks took me.

                I am totally down with the whole “give people the tools to read, write, and think and point them at the library” thing.

                But I also know that I might be an outlier in how I learn things and that what worked for me might not work for everybody.

                And I don’t know what or how to come up with a policy that would work for a good chunk of people. I only know what worked for me.

                And I’m not sure that I would wish what worked for me on another person.Report

            • pillsy in reply to Murali says:

              Perhaps. What it is more likely to imply is a radical decentralisation of education. Each individual community having full freedom to brainwash its members in whichever way they wish provided that each community allows its members to leave.

              That’s great if you’re talking about adults, but we’re talking about kids here, and, almost definitionally, they can’t just get up and leave if they’re being ill-served by their educations, nor are they really in any position to know when they’re being well-served by their educations.

              Consider a community where they believe that girls should have a sharply constrained education compared to boys, for reasons which surely make sense to them. Should we accede to their wishes, or are we just negotiating price?

              Remember, I’m not arguing that nothing controversial should ever be taught. I’m arguing that we cannot insist that everyone teach controversial things. I also think that a distinction can be made between matters of fact (and science) which can be subject to a consensus based on the public use of reason and fundamental matters of value, which apart from affirming support for basic liberal institutions cannot generate any further consensus.

              This strikes me as incoherent. The idea that we can make this distinction between matters of fact and science and fundamental matters of value is, in and of itself, making a determination based on a set of values. Certainly, some people believe that matters of morality are matters of fact, and others believe that, given the choice between believing (say) religious scripture and your own lying eyes, you should choose scripture every time.Report

  5. Damon says:

    I’d still rather homeschool.Report

    • Joe Sal in reply to Damon says:

      Hell, from what I’m seeing sent home and how it’s being taught, the end game is homeschool.

      Are we sure teachers are learning decimals, ratios and fractions before trying to teach them to students?Report

      • Damon in reply to Joe Sal says:

        I couldn’t say, but from ancedotes I see/hear, I wonder. Also, I do hear alot of crap from the teacher I’m dating about the idiot bureaucracy in the school system that she works in. It’s a big east coast mid atlantic city.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Joe Sal says:

        I do always like when the same person who tells me that parents need to take a stronger role turns around and tells me that homeschooling never works.Report

    • Roland Dodds in reply to Damon says:

      @damon I used to be down on homeschooling when I was younger and farther to the left, but after working in some tougher public school environments, I can absolutely understand why parents would find it a good option. Although it is not likely in the cards for my children, my distaste for mass, common culture and the placidness of some school’s bureaucracy makes me wish it was a possibility for my family.Report

      • Damon in reply to Roland Dodds says:


        I understand. As to the issue of “possibilities”, life’s all about choices. And one of the reasons I didn’t have kids was I knew what I wanted with my life…and it didn’t include kids.Report

  6. Rufus F. says:

    Would it be alright to sit in on your 8th grade humanities classroom? Please! That sounds great.Report

  7. LeeEsq says:

    I take it by the cover illustration that the Common Core includes a return to classical education for everybody.Report

  8. Rob Olson says:

    Bravo. I don’t know if I disagreed with a single word.Report