Thoughts on Education

  1. As with “Obamacare,” before they were against Common Core, conservatives were for it.
  2. AP exams are administered by an NGO, not the government. It’s not Obama’s fault, nor Dubya’s fault, if you don’t like them.

Common Core was originally an attempt to help business by striving for some consistency from state to state in what it meant to achieve certain educational milestones, such as graduating from high school. What’s more conservative than helping business, by today’s standards for the right wing? I honestly don’t know by now if any Federal education funds are conditional on adopting Common Core, but the Federal government was a late joiner to the Common Core movement, not an driving force. it establishes a minimum set of things to be taught; it doesn’t say that local schools can’t teach more than that.

Similarly, advanced placement tests for graduating high schoolers are given by The College Board, not some governmental agency. The College Board is run by colleges (and universities); it, too, is an attempt to measure high school students by common criteria — in particular, did they learn enough to pass a college-level class or not? Not all colleges will give credit for one score or another on an AP exam, but it’s a tool used by colleges, not a governmental attempt to coerce high school teachers. If some school district or some state legislature is upset with one or another of the AP tests, that’s well and good, but the students who want to get credit for proficiency in that topic will still take that test, regardless of what their school board or local elected reactionary thinks.

It’s funny to hear Faux News commentators bemoan the introduction of dogma into school curriculum. Isn’t that what they’re advocating with demands that “American exceptionalism” be taught or that creationism be taught as an alternative to evolution?

Apparently it’s only dogma when your opponent advocates it.


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