I have always said that common core standards are a good idea, for some consistency and continuity. I’m not sure that they are always developmentally appropriate at the younger years, and the “college and career” stuff is a starry-eyed, back-handed slap of an accusation that comes without the conversations:
1) Careers?!? What careers? We are not long off a Clinton-to-Bush run where our leaders more or less told us that good jobs were gone, retraining and acceptance of less might be the lot of a lot of us, and a town hall where Bush II just didn't get it when a clearly well spoken and educated, almost middle-aged mother lamented the need to work three jobs just to make ends meet.
Bush: “Three jobs? That’s truly American!”
The movies really do get it right once in a while: “If you build it, they will come.” When “job creators and investors” really did, and supported the nation/workers/economy that gave them investor/creator powers…our schools churned out workers that participated, and kids who went to college were ready. The investors creators have turned to hoarders in a speculation based economy and now they are speculating on the value of people, their public institutions, and finding a way to restrain and milk them on their public-to-private farm. If good jobs existed, parents would be working, feeding, loving, preparing students to succeed.
2) College? What exists after that would pay back the Sallie-Mae master? Not only that, but are we really going to pretend that so many American students are ready for the rigors of college level study? Are we instead going to alter "college" into a costly vocational/trade-prep option for some, or are we going to honestly look at the fact that we push more students onto the college path than we really should, that the payback on that investment is harder to find these days, and that negative comparisons to other systems around the world (where students are more filtered along the path to higher education) is simply not fair?
So...Common Core? I say okay. Wrap it around a turd sandwich that places the "no excuses" blame on teachers for not healing an economy wrecked by the same crew forcing the standards and test-based reform on us all (except for their privileged children)? No way...at least not quietly.