Over at the National Journal, they’re debating whether we should have common standards. Having 50 different standards has been no picnic; most state standards are too low, too broad, too vague; most state standards are not supported by an integrated assessment system or accompanied by rich curriculum.
The Common Core standards make real the national commitment to a public education that gives all students real life options. Some states talk ‘college ready’ but their standards and especially their cut scores didn’t measure up. The Core gets the goal right.
Beyond the equity benefit, the Core will be an innovation platform. Like the iPhone, the Core will unleash investment of energy and investment of millions of teachers, writers, programers and entrepreneurs. We won’t get 100,000 cool apps, but we will see a new generation of adaptive content, learning games, diagnostic assessment, better PD…and maybe 10,000 cool apps.
The nonsensical nuance between state standards (and policies) has been a barrier to investment an innovation. The Core eliminates some of that. Let the apps begin!
Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.