Your editorial (Aug. 23) on the Common Core standards ignores two fundamental problems and one process issue. You suggested Maine had adopted the proposal after due thought, but the standards hadn’t been established when Maine’s Legislature voted unanimously and Maine’s current governor signed the bill as a way off the No-Child-Left-Behind hook.
The fallacy of both initiatives is that a one-size-fits-all model would help each child succeed to the best of his or her abilities. We used the Learning Results model for 15 years with failure modes that were predictable. The Common Core is the same system with the same players. It was even the same company rewriting Maine’s standards several years ago.
At Lewiston High School, test results of the lowest 50 students went up slightly and of the highest 50 down slightly. The slight progress is tainted because the weakest can’t meet the arithmetic standards for Maine’s community colleges and universities.
The second problem is in the many details. The Common Core contains a long, sometimes dubious, list of things each student must do and how and when they must be done.
At one level, when you add 431 and 275, should you write the problem vertically with one number above the other? The Common Core wants everyone to wait until fourth grade to do that. At another level, does every student in America have to understand the graph of the cube root of x? It’s on the list.
One size fits all? It won’t work.
Jim Perkins, Wayne