Something has been bothering me lately about the way defenders and detractors are afforded equal time in an attempt to artificially provide some sort of “balance” between these two groups. This is a disingenuous attempt by some in the mainstream media to force parity into an issue where there really is none. Common Core was portrayed as a perfect solution to a [manufactured] education crises. Defenders have tried multiple strategies to defend Common Core, switching fluidly between completely contradictory defenses not based in reality – without being called out for their fickle and fictitious fluctuations. (say that 5 times fast.)

For example. . .Common Core was first portrayed at an internationally benchmarked set of standards that would surpass anything in the world in terms of “rigor”. When challenged on this point, to show even the existence of any international standards, let alone that these standards would surpass them, defenders of Common Core switched arguments without many in the media recognizing this as complete bullshit. When someone makes up a complete lie, and you call them on it, their credibility should be called into question and their other arguments should be considered suspect. That did not happen on this issue or any of these other points I will mention.

The next argument was that the existing standards in every state were complete crap and while not internationally benchmarked (because there are no international benchmarks, and because these standards do not surpass those of even modest countries like Sweden and Finland, or even small US state’s like Massachusetts, let alone the entire international community) these standards were better than all existing standards in all places. To defend this claim, defenders of Common Core selected individual standards from individual grades and compared them to another grade and standard and made the gigantic false equivalency argument. They claimed that because of this small case (which in many cases were actually completely backwards as in the case of the example provided by a Common Core Lobbyist named Blogger Ryan Booth – political director of the Republican Party – that appeared on a recent LPB Common Core advertisement paid for by Exxon masquerading as a real debate – that our existing standards did not have children learning their multiplication tables in grade 3, and Common Core did, and don’t we think kids should and could be learning their multiplication table sin grade 3? (check out the 32.28 mark) Yes, and we had children learning multiplication tables in grade 3 before Common Core. Hey Ryan, Common Core actually removed that as a standard you complete mile-wide-inch-deep-talking-point stuffed parrot. It was changed back to start including rote memorization so kids could actually function in 4th grade without enormous remediation.) But let me go further to explain when someone makes and argument that they have the best burger in the world, I don’t have to have the best burger the world to disprove your claim. I can find any burger better than yours and your claim is disproven. To expand the analogy to what the Common Core proponents are claiming (their restaurant is better in all respects to every other restaurant out there) all I have to do is find one quality or one menu item that is superior in any restaurant that is better than any one of yours and your claim is proven. . . bogus. You can’t prove your claim by choosing to compare just your choice steak to my moldy bologna sandwich and support your claim. It’s true you have a harder task, to defend every aspect of your Common Core curriculum. I don’t dispute that. That’s how it should be. You are claiming you are better than everyone everywhere in all respects and you are replacing all restaurants with your Bill Gates burger joint claiming this will somehow make us better off. (While Bill Gates sends his own kids to Morton’s Steakhouse)

Another argument I’ve enjoyed seeing picked apart is that we need to adopt Common Core so we can compare our students to every other student in the United States. Two things. Why? Like . . . really? We are restructuring our entire education system and what almost every child in the United States is learning because you want some numbers to line up better on a chart? Seriously? That’s your argument for creating vast turmoil and endangering our entire public education system. So a report is easier to run? Someone needs to take your data away you stupid, stupid people. What genius decided making a report easier to run is worth billions and trillions of dollars to implement (when we already have reports that do this like NAEP) is a good reason to endanger the future of our country and sanity of our children, parents and teachers? (Oh, billionaires and education companies that stand to make billions of dollars implementing Common Core, you say? If you did say that it would at least make sense.(At least if you sold it as an economic model to drive billions of dollars of useless spending as a form of federal stimulus package your argument would have made sense. ) Second thing. No states are coordinating in where they are setting cut scores or category determinations. Giving the same test to a dozen states (not all the states like you portray to the ignorant)s not creating national comparative model that you stressed as one of the primary reasons to do all this. Second, second thing. Just because you give everyone the same test, if every state scores them differently they are not comparable. Are you idiots . . . or do you take us for them? Obviously the legislators that preach this false gospel are either idiots or bought off minions, but we are not. We have concrete, indisputable data to refute this argument. It’s perplexing to me that you still even try to make this argument from time to time. This is not something that is open to debate, or subject to interpretation. Claiming a test given to maybe a dozen states (we have between 50 and 59 states depending on who you ask, but that’s still a small percentage either way) ensures national comparability but without even any centralized mechanism to ensure those few scores are comparable is beyond untrue. . . it’s absurd. We have state superintendents of education in each state determining cut scores and proficiency levels independently. If 2 kids in two states are given the same test but one state grades 90% and above an A, and another state grades 50% and above as an A, you can compare them, but those two numbers are only equivalent using Common Core Math.

Anyways. . . just thought I’d get that out there. It’s been bothering me. See some of you tomorrow at the Rally. I’m tired now, but I’m still eating away at my elephant.


Here’s a Sesame Street video that summarizes my post.




7 thoughts on “The False Equivalence between Common Core Detractors and Defenders

  1. This false equivalency is the way media gives the illusion of balanced reporting. It doesn’t really matter what the issue is they act like everything is a debate. This is especially true on cable news because of the many hours they have to fill. Here is a link to a segment on John Oliver’s new show. It’s about how the climate change debate (again, there is no debate) is usually framed but one can easily substitute climate change for common core.

    If the link didn’t work search for John Oliver climate change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s