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Updated: 08/14/2013 08:00:24AM

Common core: not a new concept

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The concept of a “common core curriculum” for public education has become the issue du jour for those who find a conspiracy behind any idea that they themselves did not come up with.

Perhaps it fails the first law of tradition: “We’ve NEVER done it that way!” We are more comfortable with the flip side of that observation: “We’ve ALWAYS done it this way!” This is not a concept unique to education. It is found throughout government, throughout business (including the newspaper business), and perhaps nowhere more imbedded than in religion. (There is an anecdote in the Anglican communion: “We may be open to a little genteel heresy, but keep your cotton-pickin’ hands off the Book of Common Prayer!”) The common core curriculum concept can be defined in many ways, but as we understand it after consultation with our inner circle of educational advisors, the object is to ensure, insofar as practicable, that all students in grades K through 12 are mastering essentially the same educational skills at the same time.

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