Name one Common Core standard you disagree with.
That's the challenge Superintendent Heath Morrison says he puts to those who argue that North Carolina needs to scrap the reading and math guidelines that states have spent years hashing out. He said he never gets a specific answer, just comments about federal intrusion.
"We're having this conversation for all the wrong reasons, and none of it is about education," Morrison told the Tuesday Breakfast Forum this week.
I'm scheduled to take a turn at the General Assembly next week. Maybe I'll hear some intense debate over whether eighth-graders really need to be able to analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations, or whether it's reasonable to expect first-graders to identify and use headers, tables of contents and glossaries to locate key facts in a text.
But I doubt it. One reason I've written so little about these standards is that they're so wonky and dense. You can read through them here (block out some serious time), but it won't make you the life of the next political debate.
I spent four hours at a recent Education Writers Association seminar listening to a wide range of experts talk about Common Core. The consensus: The standards themselves are about specific academic goals that originated with governors, superintendents and school boards. They've been hashed out over several years by experts, educators and consultants.
And recently they've become entangled in partisan politics and testing controversy.