Academic journal article Language Arts

With All Due Respect

Academic journal article Language Arts

With All Due Respect

Article excerpt

The Language Arts editors' call directs attention to the content and consequences of Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-working/ not, help/hurt, transformational/flawed-without due consideration of their history, politics, and economics. To quote Linda Loman, "Attention must be paid . . . ."

History: On the surface, the CCSS are a culmination of curricular and assessment parts of America 2000 (1991). The National Governors Association shepherded both of these documents to completion, shielding from view many nonprofits, professional organizations, philanthropies, and business groups. To name one of each: National Center for Education and the Economy, National Education Association, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Business Roundtable. All are committed to a faulty assumption that an uneducated and unproductive workforce is undermining the American economy (Chang, 2010).

Politics: Education is under each state's purview, but is glocal in scale. It's no longer clear which (whose?) jurisdiction should preside when borders are permeable and definitions of the public good are often ceded to private actors (Fraser, 2010). With America 2000, federal officials imagined the stream of reports on the "failure" of public schools would be persuasive, and states would choose national standards and testing. For CCSS, the federal government supplemented that imagination with chances to "win" substantial new funding and encouraged philanthropic groups to hedge states' "bets." Taxpayers, parents, students, and teachers must search to determine how they are represented in the circulation of power around CCSS. …

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