Parents, educators, and students have criticized the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects for expecting students to regurgitate evidence from assigned texts rather than think for themselves. This article argues that this popular critique is accurate and that the Common Core, regardless of its advocates’ intentions, has undemocratic consequences. Initially, the essay considers a democratic argument for the Common Core. Then, I show that the standards themselves, faithfully implemented, lead to assignments and assessments that give students few opportunities to articulate their own thoughts or responses. I argue that this kind of education does not inculcate democratic habits and that democratic education requires empowering people in the local school community to construct their own education standards.

Response to Article

Benjamin J. Bindewald, Rory P. Tannebaum, and Patrick Womac, The Common Core and Democratic Education: Examining Potential Costs and Benefits to Public and Private Autonomy