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Reader's view: Scrap Common Core, develop own standards

It is stunning a respected research firm found Minnesota's implementation of Common Core will not be complete until the year 2064 ("Minnesota schools slow to implement the Common Core national academic benchmarks," March 11).

It is stunning a respected research firm found Minnesota's implementation of Common Core will not be complete until the year 2064 ("Minnesota schools slow to implement the Common Core national academic benchmarks," March 11).

However, these national curricular standards have been on a highly uncertain course since Washington insiders rolled them out in 2010 without having sought informed consent from those who would be most affected: American families.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the largest private donor to Common Core, admitted as much when he remarked in a September 2013 Harvard interview that, "It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won't know for probably a decade."

Instead of seeking ways to throw more money into this gigantic social experiment, Minnesota policymakers would better serve their communities by scrapping Common Core and developing their own academic benchmarks. They could draw on some of the best work done by standards-writing teams in states such as Massachusetts and California before the feds pressured states to embrace the nationalized standards.

Students and teachers need guides to learning that are understandable and geared to basic skills and knowledge. The progressive architects of Common Core fashioned the standards to (they hoped) inspire critical thinking. But in many ways, their bias for the theoretical has muddled the educational process. It is shameful that this obstacle to lucid and logical education could still be harming students past the midpoint of the 21st century.

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Robert Holland

Arlington Heights, Ill.

The writer is a senior fellow for education policy at the The Heartland Institute ( heartland.org ).

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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