Why Common Core Doesn’t Matter (and Why It Does)

  1. Common Core doesn’t matter because standards mostly don’t matter. Standards mostly don’t matter because they are just a bunch of vague words in a document.  What teachers actually do when they close their classroom door is in no way controlled by those words.  Changing the words in a standards document is very unlikely to dramatically change what teachers do.
  2. The Common Core folks hope to address the ineffectiveness of standards by linking those standards to newly designed assessments and then attaching consequences for individual teachers to those standards-based assessments.  But the level of centralized control over teaching practice to make this work is a political impossibility.

If Common Core is largely unimportant because it is just a bunch of vague words that can never impose the centralized political control to make those words meaningful, why is it still important?