Reading & Reacting: Criticizing Common Core Coverage | Taking Note

By John Merrow @ Taking Note

Let me start by admitting I like John Merrow a lot. I think he is an excellent reporter who understands his beat with much greater knowledge and awareness than most. I have long admired his podcasts and pieces for Newshour.

Recently, Merrow and his team produced these two pieces for Newshour, which are absolutely worth watching.

Defining What Public School Students Should Know – Part 1

Can a Computerized Test Measure Complex Common Core Skills? – Part 2

They are television news packages, so of course they are necessarily simpler and more evocative than authoritative. However, they do a solid job of exploring the Common Core for the layperson, although I wish pieces like this would use a typical, neighborhood school rather than hand-picked magnet or charter variety.

Still, more impressive than anything is Merrow’s willingness to take on his critics in a thoughtful and non-adversarial way on his blog Taking Note. Quoting liberally from responses that these two pieces received he not only gives voice to some of the variety of counter arguments that the Common Core is receiving but engages these lines of thinking with sensitivity. It is a lesson in how to use opposing or interrogating views with an eye towards clarity.

What I like even more about reading Merrow’s blog is that he can be more forthcoming about his own views and opinions than he can for his Newshour pieces, This is also an instructive example of the difference between reporting and commentary.

Posts like these are what make me like Merrow all the more.

Image: iPad

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and flipped to Teaching Today

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