Critical thinking is missing from Common Core

Supporters of the national Common Core education standards repeatedly label them as “rigorous,” thereby trying to shut off all debate. After all, who could be against having the highest of standards in American public schools?

However, a former Marietta teacher brings something that is sorely missing from the “critical thinking” Common Core supposedly brings to standardized education: Facts. By laying out in a factual manner the reasons leading scholars (including key members of the standards’ Validation panel) have repudiated Common Core, a former teacher shows how dubious are widespread claims of increased academic rigor. (“Former teacher alarmed about Common Core,” June 6).

Retired teachers can tell us much as Americans in many states rethink these standards that were pressed upon their school systems by outside interests with little or no debate. It is doubtful a current English teacher could skewer the Common Core’s drastic de-emphasis of students’ reading of classic literature without fearing for her job. The same would apply to a math teacher who pointed out that the only mathematician on the Validation Committee protested that the Common Core math, as adopted, would put U.S. students at least two years behind students in other advanced nations.

From her 30 years’ teaching experience, a former teacher has seen foolish fads being pushed on public schools repeatedly by special interests, with devastating effects. Could Common Core be the latest, most destructive of all?

Robert Holland

Senior Fellow for Education

Policy, The Heartland Institute

Chicago, Ill.