Stephanie Simon reports on Bill Gates’ latest explanation of why the Common Core standards are a wonderful idea. We need standardization. Maybe we need a national curriculum so that everyone learns exactly the same thing at the same time. Bill Gates loves the Common Core because it is like a standard electrical outlet that we can plug children’s brains into and get standard electrical current. That explains why he paid out at least $200 million to create Common Core, so everyone could have a standard mind and be just like everyone else. Some people, like Emeritus Professor Jack Hassard of Georgia State University, think that Gates has actually pumped $2 billion into Common Core. Really, without standardizing the minds and hopes and dreams and aspirations of everyone everywhere, how can we hope to compete with the standardized minds in other nations?


This is not news. We knew that, didn’t we?


Here is some more not-news: Bill Gates thinks Arne Duncan is wonderful because Arne Duncan wants to standardize everyone’s minds just like Bill Gates. And he wants to pay teachers based on the test scores of their students, just like they don’t do at his children’s private school.


They can’t understand why the more parents learn about Common Core, the less they like it. That’s what the polls show.


Here is an anecdote, not a poll, not scientific. I spoke to a friend who is a retired New York City principal. She had a distinguished career for many years in a middle school. Her grandson came home from his first day in kindergarten. He had work sheets for homework. When she asked about his day, he said there was no recess because they had to work on reading and math problems. This is ridiculous. The children will learn to hate school.


Common Core will never be “national standards,” no matter how much money Bill spends, no matter how much the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushes it, no matter how many states lose Arne’s waivers. It might survive in half the states. But it will never stop being a source of controversy. It didn’t have to be this way. The lesson is that you don’t get “national standards” by writing them in secret, then using federal funds as a lure to shove them down the throats of parents and children. If we ever have national standards, it will come about as the result of a democratic, open process, not a secret deal among oligarchs and the feds.