We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You've summarized the foolishness of central planning and the agenda of the big government/nanny state folks. Through heavy taxation, the federal government confiscates our local dollars. Then, to access what was ours to start with, we (local government and agencies) must apply for grants which are approved only if they comply with the federal governments political agenda (roughly translated, that means things that the federal government deems are in our best interest, but which are really in Washington's best interest).
I do not trust this person any further than I can throw him. If his is part of the initiative to get 'Common Core Standards' then he is someone against me as a parent. I don't care that on the surface he has a few solid history/literature reads in his list, he and any administration higher than our local school board has no business making decisions on what is being taught in our local schools. If the children graduating from a said school district routinely do not get accepted into college, do poorly on the ACT/SAT college exams, and/or do not find adequate position in society then it is the job of the local school to make changes as such.......OH, did I mention the ACT? I understand that they will be changing their exams to meet the Common Core Requirements.... Yeah, where is this going folks?...
I am for total school choice. If you want to send your kids to a do-nothing school, that's your prerogative, just don't come crying to me since you chose the school. I also do not like public school (not that they are all bad but there just aren't enough of them that are good and there are too many of them that are bad.
That's maybe a long way of saying that I am for total decentralization of the school system. However, I am all for David Coleman. He is a breath of fresh air in the cesspool that is our public primary education system. Since we have a public system, I'm all for making it the best it can be. For too long we've ceded the characterization of our nation's experiment to those either actively or passively hostile to it. We have quit demanding students read much less read something meaningful and important. It is long over due.
Unfortunately, we have an informal "common core" based on an agenda set by the National Education Association. They meet annually, basically decide on curriculum they support, and their members disseminate it. State standards, usually enforced by funding for local schools, are drafted following the NEA's guidelines. Textbook selection is usually made by the same people.
If you don't believe me, compare the curriculum in Wyoming with the curriculum in Massachusetts. I think you'll find it's strikingly similar and that the same materials are used.
I'm not suggesting that the common core is any better, just that centralization has already occurred.
1. Replace the Dept of Ed with an independent agency like a National Board of Regents that meets periodically, gets input from industry, and develops a core curriculum. It issues changes roughly every 4 years or so - longer term than the census.
2. A federal voucher is issued, good at ANY school teaching the core curriculum - whatever else is on the schedule.
3. A set of standardized tests lets parents evaluate their kid's teachers/school in relation to the rest of the country - setting up a solid criteria for merit pay for teachers. Homeschoolers redeem the voucher when their kids pass these tests.
Result: uniform basic standards across the country, with flexibility at the local level.
And a net SMALLER federal involvement, with more of the money making it to the classroom.