Don't be too quick to criticize Common Core

June 7, 2013

I read with concern your article headlined, ”Common Core under fire”. My impression from the article is that we have a small but vocal contingent who would like to scuttle the program that attempts to set standards for what our Cape students are to learn. I write because, while this contingent is a minority, their will may prevail if others don’t speak out.

I have not attended the school board meetings and don’t profess to know the minute details of the debate. But, I do see a pattern of fighting everything “establishment” and that pattern is similar to that which is deadlocking our government in Washington. An example of an element of that pattern here is that one of the speakers expressed fear that somehow Bill and Melinda Gates’ efforts would have a negative influence on our students.

Our state has put considerable effort into locating and hiring the best people available to staff the Department of Education, and we pay them handsomely for their services. These folks did, what appeared to me to be, a marvelous job in the Race To The Top competition. It was done in a manner that achieved consensus from the teachers, a good example of Delawareans working together in the best interest of the community at large. As I understand it, the Common Core standards are part of the package.

I don’t question the motives or sincerity of the opponents of the Common Core standards, but I do question their competence on how to improve the education of our next generation. If people look hard enough they can always find something to complain about and, with a little more study, they can find some bit of data to make a point. But, when the point comes up that Bill and Melinda Gates are going to ruin our next generation, I am forced to question the competency of the source.

David Bernheisel

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