The opposition to the Common Core thrives on fear, panic, and paranoia, and it’s difficult not to respond with the same. (And, you’ve got to admit, some of the things you discover by playing the Common Core Crazy Game are pretty scary. Has anybody tried Pol Pot yet?)
Sometimes I want to go all Buddhist Thunderbolt Deity on the liars and hucksters trolling the states right now (note the label describing the thunderbolt as “symbolizing the power of wisdom to penetrate ignorance and defeat evil”).
There is a strong position statement from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, supporting the standards while making the excellent point that their success will depend on professional development, adequate state funding, and sensible testing policies. (When critics make sarcastic reference to the standards being some kind of cure-all, I want to say “Well, duh, no.”)
Finally, over at Sybilla Beckman’s excellent Mathematics Teaching Community she has posted her open letter to the Georgia School Board. Her points ring out like the tolls of a great bell calling us to calm and collected action:
The CCSS-M are the strongest K–12 mathematics standards that I know of.
The CCSS-M were developed very carefully with repeated cycles of feedback.
Serious professions deserve standards that are developed nationally.
The presidents of all the major national mathematical societies have expressed “strong support” for CCSS-M.
Having standards does not imply losing autonomy or creativity.
The CCSS-M need time and support to implement.
As they say in Georgia, ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for y’all.