This morning the New York Times published a lengthy defense of the Common Core standards by Bill Keller, previously executive editor of the paper.

Keller asserts that opposition to the Common Core comes from extremists on the far-right fringe. (He does say that there are critics on the left, and adds a link to my blog, but not to the post explaining my reasons for not supporting the Common Core.  My main reason: They have never been field tested and we have no evidence how they will work and whether they will do what they claim, and what their effects will be on real children in real classrooms).

Please take the time to read Keller’s article and add a comment, if you are so moved.

Susan Ohanian went postal when she read Keller’s article.

She titles her response: “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: War on the New York Times Embrace of the Common Core.”

She begins thus:

“Well, at least New York Times editorial remains consistent, proving once again that you can lead a reporter to evidence but can’t make him think. Keller was executive editor at the New York Times from 2003–2011, where he was a leading supporter of the Iraq invasion. Although he has since returned to his status as writer, he remains infected by the Times editorial bias on education policy. It seems significant that Keller’s father was chairman and chief executive of the Chevron Corporation. 

Keller employs a deliberate strategy of welding opponents of the Common Core with the lunatic fringe. Note that no progressive who opposes the Common Core is mentioned. No superintendent of schools opposing the Common Core is mentioned. No researcher opposing the Common Core is mentioned. No parent opposing the Common Core is mentioned.”

Keller says that the Common Core implies no curriculum, just standards. He quotes E.D. Hirsch, Jr., whose K-3 curriculum has been adopted by New York state as its official Common Core curriculum. Keller obviously didn’t know that Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify division (run by Joel Klein) bought the rights to the Core Knowledge curriculum for 20 years, meaning that every school in the state will pay a royalty to Rupert Murdoch whenever they buy the resources to teach the state curriculum.  Amplify and Core Knowledge plan to expand the curriculum to cover grades four and five. So this is quite a goldmine!