Common Core Will Not Cure All

My chief criticism of the Common Core at this point is that it is being touted as a cure-all for our nation’s educational problems, but in fact it will not cure all.

Mediocre teachers implementing the Common Core within the context of our current mediocre schools will only produce mediocre learning outcomes in students.

What we need in our schools is intellectual rigor and excitement, and you don’t get those through mandates.

You notch education up to the level we seek when you attract intellectually excited, experienced, passionate teachers to the classroom.  These are the people who can produce the results we are looking everywhere to find.

The Common Core mandates what the best teachers already do. I think we should put the money we are spending on Common Core products into teacher salaries instead. We’d get more bang for the buck by attracting the best teachers to our schools.

This does not mean the Common Core standards are not valuable. In fact many are well thought out, particularly for the older grades. However they aren’t the be all and end all. They are simply a tool. We should look deeper. If we want to produce excellent educational outcomes we need to attract – and nurture, and keep – excellent teachers.


Kathreen Harrison

About Kathreen Harrison

Kathreen Harrison is a public school teacher in Maine. She has a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. She has worked in a variety of schools in New York and Maine in a number of capacities – French teacher, gifted and talented teacher, elementary school teacher, and curriculum coordinator for island schools. She has lived in Maine for 20 years and has a particular interest in school reform.