In “Are School Core Standards Dead: Educators Weigh In On Uncertainty” (Feb. 21), both Post Falls School’s Jerry Keane and Scott Maben of Coeur d’Alene Schools blithely opined that some replacement for Common Core Standards would be needed. “Obviously, you need standards, because standards are the basis of curriculum,” Maben said.
Not so! These statements represent the blind adherence to a dogma of central control which has caused public education around our nation to conspicuously degenerate in recent decades.
Curriculum, the body of knowledge to be taught and the outline by which it will be presented, is older than Socrates. Classical education was dedicated to pass on the accumulated understanding of our culture intact to the next generation.
This is a reasonably straightforward enterprise. Simply hire knowledgeable professionals, supervise them at the school and local level, reward the successful teachers and replace those who fail. This is subjective, requiring judgment. That pretense to objectivity maintained by standards-advocates is the common core of their failure; teaching is an art, not a science.
Such an education, where creativity resided in classrooms run by empowered teachers and supervised by involved principals, both unified our immigrant nation and put Americans on the moon. Curricula were rich, and learning was real; all without “standards” imposed by politicians and bureaucrats. Today’s public schools need to be freed from the parasitical administrative class and their ethos of central control. Common Core should be dropped, without replacement, and power needs to be shifted away from bureaucrats toward classroom teachers.
RALPH K. GINORIO