When I taught debate roughly 10,000 years go, I prided myself on teaching my students to look at both sides of the issues. I required my students to speak with equal degrees of passion on both sides of every issue. That old debate teacher in me is thrilled, then, to see that both sides of the aisle love and hate the Common Core State Standards in equal measure.
From E.D. Hirsch to Diane Ravitch to Marc Tucker to Sam Chaltain…everyone has an opinion and those opinions don’t always fall along the expected party lines. I’ll admit that, after reading the Common Core myself, I don’t find it terrifying or evil. I like parts of it, dislike parts of it, and acknowledge fully that, like everything else, it will come down to the myriad policy decisions still to be made at the state and local levels.
But, at the end of the day, what could be better than well reasoned, thoughtful debate about what we want for our kids? Sometimes we need something just different enough to make us sit up and notice what we’ve been assuming all along about the perspectives of those around us. Sometimes we need a bit of a poke to make us re-think what we believed and whether we still want to believe it.
Thoughtful discourse about teaching and learning? Sounds good to me.