Paul Thomas has a surprising and unusual habit of thinking. He doesn’t follow the crowd or the latest fashion. In this post, he notices how organizations are falling into line on the Common Core, even though they know that schools and teachers and children are not ready. Thomas taught English in high school for nearly twenty years; he now is a professor at Furman University. In his post cited here, he examines the issue of choice and inevitability.

Come to think of it, it’s interesting that the same people who insist that everyone needs to have a choice of schools (like Jeb Bush and Joel Klein), also insist that when it comes to Common Core, there should be no choice at all. Just fall in line. It is inevitable. Everyone must comply. If, as Jeb Bush puts it, choosing a school should be like choosing what kind of milk you want (1%, 2%, skim, chocolate, whole, buttermilk?), why only one curriculum for the whole nation? Why not choice there too?

A few weeks ago, Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on Common Core assessments and on the accountability attached to them (aka, punishments). Randi pointed out that it made no sense to hold students and teachers accountable when there has been little or no curriculum, professional development or other preparation for the new standards and tests.

Aside from widespread predictions that the proficiency rates will drop by 30% or more, no one knows how the standards and tests will work because they are new and have never gotten a real trial. They may or may not lead to higher achievement. They may widen the achievement gaps, or not. No one knows.

However, Alice Johnson Cain, Vice President of the Gates-funded AstroTurf group Teach Plus, opposes a moratorium. Cain previously worked as an aide for many years for California Congressman George Miller, the senior Democrat on the House education committee. Miller was one of the authors of No Child Left Behind and is a favorite of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), the Wall Street hedge fund managers’ group that supports high-stakes testing and charters. DFER has raised large sums for Miller, who seldom has any opposition in his safe district.

Randi was right in this respect. If the Common Core is imposed without any adjustments and tested without preparation, it will fail. It will be a footnote in educational history. It will be studied in the future along with Life Adjustment education and other “movements” that had their day and disappeared.