Letter to the Editor
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
February 10, 2014
EDITOR: Understandably, an official of the Institute of Progressive Education and Learning, Michael Haran, believes that progressive pedagogy should play a strong role in schooling (“The value of common core standards in school,” Close to Home, Thursday). Less clear is why he would insist Common Core should impose progressive pedagogy on all children, despite individual differences that leave some children more in need of structured instruction than others.
Perhaps Haran really believes that governors of the 50 states gathered under the aegis of the National Governors Association and voted for progressive uniformity via Common Core. But that did not happen. The National Governor’s Association’s permanent bureaucracy, the Center for Best Practices, selectively gathered theorists to draft the Common Core curricular guides, drawing on heavy funding from the federal government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No record exists of governors voting collectively for Common Core. Indeed, some states neither pay dues to the association nor participate in its proceedings.
Progress in education comes when state and local officials, and especially parents and teachers, are free to exercise choices and implement what is best for each child, as opposed to following a onesizefits-all scheme.
Senior fellow, the Heartland Institute Chicago
Letter to the Editor
Missing the point
Editor: The letter to the Editor “Progressive pedagogy” (Robert Holland of the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute) totally misses the point of my article but this selective commentary is typical of the far right. It doesn’t matter who initiated the new Common Core Standards the point is that because we have a common culture in the U.S. we need to have a standard education system of core subjects such as math, English, history, technology and science for each K-12 grade. Beyond that each school district is free to include other course such as art, music, P.E., local history and social studies even if it includes creationism and the denial of climate change. Regardless of whether a child goes on to college or not we owe our children a decent education. It’s imperative to each child and it is imperative to American and no 19th century mentality is going to change that.