Stossel takes on the Common Core

John Stossel is one of the guiding lights of the free market movement. His platform as a national television host gives him regular opportunities to weigh in on the pressing issues of the day. Unlike many politicians and media personalities, Stossel is a consistent opponent of government overreach and a proponent of individual liberty. He’s done a great deal of work on education issues.

So, it was only a matter of time before Stossel took on the education policy known as “Common Core.” While some conservatives and advocates of limited government have endorsed Common Core, Stossel outlines his concerns here.

According to Stossel, the fundamental flaw with Common Core is that:

As American education has become more centralized, the rest of our lives have become increasingly diverse and tailored to individual needs. Every minute, thousands of entrepreneurs struggle to improve their products. Quality increases, and costs often drop.

But centrally planned K-12 education doesn’t improve. Per-student spending has tripled (governments now routinely spend $300,000 per classroom!), but test results are stagnant.

While Common Core may have some good aspects, I believe that we must fundamentally re-form our entire K-12 education system in ways that emphasize choices and individuality. These concepts, as Stossel notes, govern the rest of our lives. It is hard to imagine that another centrally-imposed curriculum or set of standards, no matter how well-intentioned, is the cure for America’s education woes.

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4 Replies to “Stossel takes on the Common Core”

  1. They are making an industry out of education. One example: There are 4,500 Promethian boards already hooked-up in Albuquerque classrooms. Sitting, waiting in place. They are waiting for the “right” crisis to come along, such as , “Gee, we do not have enough $$ to continue buying these very expensive textbooks, and besides the parents and teachers say that the books are indoctrinating, anti-American, etc. So we will eliminate textbooks. Lessons will come through the boards.” Only the teacher will know what material is being ” taught”. What happens when the “Smart” board crashes? Why the answer is: Disrupt the teacher’s room down the hall; the teacher who sort-of knows how to fix the crisis or call in the $60,ooo/year tech-guy who will put you on the list for next Friday. Crisis solved!!

  2. They are making an industry out of education. One example: There are 4,500 Promethian boards already hooked-up in Albuquerque classrooms. Sitting, waiting in place. They are waiting for the “right” crisis to come along, such as , “Gee, we do not have enough $$ to continue buying these very expensive textbooks, and besides the parents and teachers say that the books are indoctrinating, anti-American, etc. So we will eliminate textbooks Lessons will come through the boards.” Only the teacher will know what material is being ” taught”. What happens when the “Smart” board crashes? Why the answer is: Disrupt the teacher’s room down the hall; the teacher who sort-of knows how to fix the crisis or call in the $60,ooo/year tech-guy who will put you on the list for next Friday. Crisis solved!!

  3. Mary, you have no idea what you’re talking about. When was the last time you visited a school in your neighborhood to find out what is really going on? If you had even the slightest contact our public schools you would not be making such ridiculous statements. You are no more informed about public education then Stossel. The only difference is he has a “national forum” and you don’t. A few minutes of listening and a tiny amount of critical thinking exposes the fact that Stossel does not have a clue about anything. Where is Stossel’s documentation for this statement: “Per-student spending has tripled (governments now routinely spend $300,000 per classroom!),…?” If that were true, teachers would not be having to spend hundreds of their own dollars providing class supplies and learning materials for their students. Once again, Mary, go visit one of your neighborhood schools and get a clue!

    1. Ken, I think you are the one who is wrong here. All Stossel did was to take the average per-pupil spending of over $11,000 and divide that out by classroom size of say 25 students.

      Just because teachers are forced to buy their own materials, it doesn’t follow that the schools are underfunded. It is a classic mis-allocation of resources by government bureaucracies. Remember when soldiers in Iraq were buying their own body armor because the Pentagon would rather spend billions on a new toy than a few million on body armor? Government schools are just as inefficient and special interest ridden as the Pentagon.

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