Overnight at my personal site, I posted this piece on common core and my third grader. I followed it up with a post at RedState. I am again noticing a pattern that I noticed when I first started writing and talking about Common Core.
To be sure, for the longest time I thought the people prattling on about the evils of Common Core were a bit off. It seemed silly. It seemed impossible. Then my daughter’s school switched over to Common Core. It is a private, Christian school, but feels compelled to switch because of the coming shift in standardized tests. They do not want to be at a disadvantage.
The teachers and administration are wonderful people. The school is connected to my church. They do not want to do this, but really have no choice. Teachers, parents, and students are all frustrated.
In engaging on Common Core, I have noticed a trend. Twenty year old to forty-something white men, many of them childless, are the chief defenders of Common Core. Virtually all of them work for a think tank or business trade association or are dependent on income therefrom.
And they love Common Core. They are not at home having to work with their children. They are not having school systems tell them that, after working two jobs just to make ends meet, they are more than welcome to come sit through an instructional program to learn Common Core so they can teach their kids.
I don’t mean to pick on them, but consider Michael Brickman, the National Policy Director at the Fordham Institute:
.@EWErickson No, that’s what a specific textbook purportedly aligned to the #commoncore looks like.
— Michael Brickman (@BrickM) October 1, 2014
Or consider Blake Gober, a political operative in Florida who supports Jeb Bush.
Folks, Common Core is not a pariah to most GOP primary voters. Neither common core nor his immigration will kill @jebbush #tcot
— Blake Gober (@Blakegober) October 1, 2014
Both are good guys. But they fall exactly in the chief demographic supporting Common Core — twenty to forty-something Republican leaning white guys who work in think tanks or politics. This happens every time. More often than not (not sure about either case here), the paid white guy also has no kids subject to Common Core. The champions of the system typically go the route Michael Brickman went — Common Core just sets standards. These books “purport” to reflect those standards.
This has gotten to the point of saying communism is great, it just hasn’t been honestly implemented yet. The various book publishers are publishing math books that reflect the standards. The teachers are teaching to the standards. If they are all arriving at the conclusion they must teach kids this ridiculous math, then perhaps it is the standards themselves that are the problem.
What is worse is that states are catching on to the parent angst and claiming they are bailing on Common Core. Really, all they are doing is changing the name of their program, but keeping the standards. Parents are just beside themselves with frustration.
To be sure, there are some parents who like the standards. And in many cases, the parents do not have children who are subject to the standards because of their kids’ age. But for those wading through this “new math,” it is mostly a frustrating experience. And it does not help that young to middle-aged childless white guys on the payroll of pro-Common Core groups are telling everyone to trust them, because this time the communists will get it right.