Common Core Catastrophe

Once again, I’m happy to welcome Reuben Duncan to the Critical Skills Blog.  Reuben is the Assistant Superintendent for Towns and Curriculum in SAU 29 here in Keene.

I am asked all the time, so it would seem, “How can we ensure our success with the Common Core?”


I think it would be more exciting to talk about how we can blow it! I mean, I think we should talk about how to swim in the ocean of mediocrity.

I asked many educators and curriculum experts what needed to be done in order to not succeed. And I would like to share my findings with all of you.

There are 6 easy steps to ensuring a complete common core catastrophe! I mean, these techniques will yield 100% mediocrity when used as prescribed—I promise! And here is the best part, you only have to do one of them on a regular basis.

Here they are:

1. Lecture

2. Continuously ask low-level questions

3. Plan and teach in isolation

4 Make certain student compliance is the central focus of class—better yet, grade the students based on behavior and compliance.

5 Cover the curriculum

6 Think that “this Common Core stuff will all go away, so I can just wait it out and avoid any difficulties due to a change process.”

I am sure that there are many other steps we could take to maintain the status quo…but these are the items that floated my way while listening to the keynote speaker at a recent conference. For the record, #4 is my favorite. Philosophically speaking, it is in complete contradiction to the Common Core and its desired outcomes.


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