This is an article I wrote for CNN.com, explaining why there is strong parent resistance to Common Core testing.
The pushback is not so much against the standards as against the decision to make the tests so “hard” and set the passing mark so unrealistically high, that most students failed.
In a democracy, public officials have to remember that they were not hired to impose their dogmas on everyone and that government functions best when it has the consent of the governed.
The most important lesson to be learned from the growing backlash is the importance of critical thinking. Right now, public officials defend the CCSS by calling critics names and trying to discredit them as extremists and ideologues.
Why not listen, engage in honest dialogue, and demonstrate a willingness to think critically and reflect on the objections, rather than smearing those who ask questions?
One of my intellectual heroes was Robert Hutchins, for years the president of the University of Chicago. He once said, and I paraphrase, never stop listening to your critics; they may be right.