New Documentary Highlights Criticism Of Common Core
On Monday, the Home School Legal Defense Association released a documentary about the Common Core State Standards, “Building the Machine.” There is an obvious bias against the standards in the film, which means Common Core proponents undoubtedly will pan it as propaganda. Nevertheless, the documentary does present some pretty compelling criticisms of the Common Core development process and the standards themselves.
It also does something that Common Core proponents haven’t done very well; it treats individuals with opposing ideas with some respect, ominous music notwithstanding. For example, Michael Farris, founder of Home School Legal Defense Association, stated:
David Coleman [lead writer of Common Core] is a nice man…I don’t agree with his approach at all. I don’t agree with his philosophy. I think that on balance his proposals are not for the good of the public schools. They certainly aren’t good for homeschoolers or private schools. You know, I have some criticism there. But the man’s motives, I don’t think we should be attacking people for their motives. Because, he wants to try to improve the public school system. He genuinely believes that systemization and centralization and data collection are good things for kids.
His point was the underlying current of the film – people have deeply held convictions on issues of education and those convictions often vary.
The film ends with this message:
Decades of research show that the single most important element in a child’s education is parental involvement. So, regardless of which side you support in the reformation of America’s schools…Be involved.
That is good advice. In fact, it is the same advice Emily Watson shared on the Show-Me Daily blog about a month ago.