Reading & Reacting: Why Common Core Standards Will Succeed

By Larry Cuban @ his School Reform and Classroom Practice blog

Bringing a host of source support and a wealth of educational experience, Larry Cuban explains a familiar theme with great understanding, how the Common Core is just another undulation in a series of education reform waves.

Reform-minded policy elites–top federal and state officials, business leaders, and their entourages with unlimited access to media (e.g., television, websites, print journalism)–use these talking points to engage the emotions and, of course, spotlight public schools as the reasons why the U.S. is not as globally competitive as it should be. By focusing on the Common Core, charter schools, and evaluating teachers on the basis of student test scores, these decision-makers have shifted public attention away from fiscal and tax policies and economic structures that not only deepen and sustain poverty in society but also reinforce privilege of the top two percent of wealthy Americans. Policy elites have banged away unrelentingly at public schools as the source of national woes for decades.

What Cuban articulates better than most is that politics, especially when concerned with education, is never really about evidence. It is always about emotion.

This post reminds me of the now famous Clay Shirky quote, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” Edreformy types bash away at the state of education, not to change to perpetuate a narrative that preserves the status quo, and as Cuban highlights, marketing the myths that provide “the appearance of success.”


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