Two teacher bloggers note the fifth birthday of the Common Core standards.

Mercedes Schneider takes the occasion to rip apart the celebratory claims for Common Core in a recent post on Huffington Post. She points out that it was adopted by almost every state a full year before the standards were written and disseminated. How convenient. She challenges the claim that it promotes critical thinking:

Next comes the Common Core as “emphasiz[ing] critical thinking over rote memorization.” As a critical thinker, I would like to read the empirical studies produced prior to Common Core adoption and that support exactly what the Common Core yields, not what those advertising it have told me it “emphasizes.”

No such empirical evidence exists. What does exist is the immediately-published, July 2010, Fordham Institute declaration of Common Core as The Answer despite the fact that even Fordham Institute did not grade Common Core as superior to all existing state standards. That did not stop Fordham Institute current president Michael Petrilli from trying to sell Common Core to states with standards that his organization rated as better than Common Core.

Why do so many mistrust the Common Core standards? In part, they don’t buy the hype and spin. But also they mistrust the fact that Bill Gates almost singlehandedly funded the development and advocacy for CCSS.

Peter Greene has doleful birthday greetings for Common Core. He says, suppose it was your birthday, and no one cared?

He writes:

Man, there’s nothing quite as sad as having a birthday that everybody ignores. Nobody throws you a party, nobody sings you a song, nobody even plunks a candy in a store-bought cupcake.

You may have missed it, but June 2 was technically the Common Core State Standards fifth birthday.

And he adds:

First of all, in order to have that kind of celebration, you need to be able to point to your big successes. And as we survey the five-plus years of Common Core, we can see… well, nothing. The CCSS advocates can’t point to a single damn accomplishment. Nothing.

Yes, we get the periodic pieces from classroom teachers lauding the standards. These pieces follow a simple outline:

1) It used to be that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing in the classroom, but then
2) I discovered Common Core and so I
3) Began doing [insert teaching techniques that any competent teacher already knew about long before the Core ever happened]

These aren’t convincing a soul, and other than these various testimonials, we have been treated to exactly zero evidence that US education has been improved in any way by the Core.

Second, it’s hard to throw a party for someone who has no friends. The game has tilted against the Core, and the same “friends” who embraced it when such embraces served a political purpose have now dis-embraced it for the same reason.

Even the reformsters have bailed out, and CCSS has only one true friend: Jeb Bush.

Birthday greetings, poor old friendless Common Core:

So happy fifth birthday and/or wake, Common Core. I could say we never knew you, but the truth is, the better we got to know you, the less we liked you (and we didn’t like you very much to begin with). There will be a variety of educational initiatives floating around that take your name in vain, but as a national policy uniting the country behind a single set of clear standards, you are dead as a month-old smear of roadkill.