A letter from a public school parent:

“Hi Diane —

I am an avid follower of you, Carol Burris, and other brilliant experts who have helped me understand the state of education today.

A lot has been written about CCSS, and we know that advocates love to say “It’s standards, not curricula” and “States are free to teach the standards their own way; it’s not prescriptive.”

What I don’t see addressed is the reality that, across the nation, CCSS curricula from every publisher is frighteningly similar. From viral post from the engineer dad who wrote the letter in his son’s homework to “tell Jack what he did wrong,” to the coffee cup conundrum Carol Burris outlined in WaPo, I find it eerie that these are nearly identical to the questions my kids are having to tackle in workbooks at their NYC public elementary school. I have also compared notes with my mom friends in Colorado, California, Idaho and Texas, and we are finding that questions are nearly exactly the same — in both ELA and math. And incidentally, we are all also struggling with badly written, error-filled material that clearly has not been proofed, fact-checked or reviewed/edited. Insult to injury!

I realize my observation is strictly anecdotal, but it nags at me. How can there be such marked similarity on a national scale? Were they all written by one shadowy non-profit funded by Gates and then licensed out to publishers? How can it be that they all are filled with so many errors? My children (going into 2nd and 4th grade at a public school in Brooklyn) use workbooks published by Curriculum Associates. That company doesn’t seem to have any connection to Pearson or any other big education publisher. So why is their curricula content the same as all the others? Clearly what’s happening on the ground doesn’t jibe with what CCSS advocates keep saying.”