Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger nails the (il)logic that drives the mismatched pockets of New Jerseyans who deplore new standards and assessments, as well as the surging resentment among those who pine for the good old days when teachers were unfettered by the constraints of common standards (not: N.J. has had core curriculum standards for decades), students were unscarred by the scourges of standardized testing (not: N.J. has had standardized tests for decades and the PARCC is but a few minutes longer than the old tests), and everyone was above-average:
An odd coalition has taken shape to oppose Common Core, or at least the testing that gives the standards their muscle, known as PARCC.
Hard-core conservatives don’t like national standards on anything — whether it’s coal plants, or civil rights, or schools. And Christie is dancing for them now.
But hard-core liberals don’t like it either. Those tests can be used to root out bad teachers, something the powerful New Jersey Education Association reflexively opposes. And the exhaustive testing regimen of PARCC has suburban parents riled up in pockets across the state…
I can’t vouch for the quality of these tests. And I get the concern about testing overkill. Some districts have cancelled their home-grown exams to make room for the PARCC tests, a smart way to cope.
But there’s no question that America needs national standards. Our kids rank near the bottom in math, compared to other advanced countries, and are only average in reading. Leaving each state to wander on its own is just nuts.