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[Susan notes: There are a number of letters on the topic published in the paper. Alfie's is the only one that hits the real issues. Few people mention that these Common Core standards come from corporate America.]

Published in New York Times
03/21/2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/l21educ.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

To the editor



While it's true that eight of the 10 top-scoring countries have centralized education standards, so do nine of the 10 lowest-scoring countries in math and eight of the 10 lowest-scoring countries in science. That̢۪s according to data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.



And if we̢۪re interested in students' depth of understanding or their motivation to learn, as opposed to mere test scores, there isn't a shred of data to support a claim of superiority for countries with nationalized education systems.



It's with good reason that so many thoughtful classroom teachers and education researchers are strongly opposed to this "core standards" initiative -- which, let's remember, has been driven primarily by corporate officials, politicians and testing companies.



To say that all students should receive a high-quality education is very different from saying all students should get the same kind of education. A one-size-fits-all approach to schooling doesn̢۪t produce excellence, and it certainly doesn't further the cause of equity.







The writer is the author of books and articles about education.





Alfie Kohn


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