Bill Boyle has come to the conclusion that the Common Core standards are “one more step in the decimation of the common good.”

He got into a Twitter debate with an advocate for the standards, then realized that this–like so many other controversial issues–has no neutral ground, no set of facts that will dispassionately settle the questions.

There is a narrative surrounding the Common Core that has been used to sell it: that it was “created by the states”; that the federal government had nothing to do with creating or promoting the CCSS (which would be illegal); that it will benefit all children; that it will close the achievement gap; that it will raise our national test scores and make us “globally competitive.”

Some of these assertions can actually be tested, in the sense that the evidence for the assertions does not exist. We will know in 12 years which–if any–of these assertions are true. Unfortunately, in matters of ideology, true believers have a tendency to stick with failed ideas no matter what the facts are (see, USSR).

In the meanwhile, the most vociferous supporters of Common Core seem to be in the corporate world. I keep wondering how many people at Exxonmobil, State Farm Insurance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other cheerleaders have read the standards and how many of their executives could pass the CC tests.

The only path I see out of the present dilemma is to impose a three-five year moratorium on the Common Core tests. Invite experienced teachers from every grade level in every state to revise the standards to make them sound, age-appropriate, and to correct errors of judgment.

That still leaves in solved the staggering cost of implementing the standards: professional development, new resources. And the biggest cost is the budget-killer: the purchase of tablets, laptops, and other technology to administer the tests. Best to put that massive cost off for another’s hte-five years until teachers nd students have had time to make the necessary adjustments.

And then it will be time to assess whether schools should invest in testing or in the arts; testing or social workers and guidance counselors; testing or smaller classes; testing or libraries and librarians; testing or pre-kindergarten.

No, there is no neutrality. There are real costs and real choices to be made.