What’s on First: School Choice vs. Common Core

Many Common Core supporters say school choice and Common Core can work together to create the best system. Maybe they can, but school choice for all families must come first, and these two scenarios show why:

School Choice First

  1. All parents are empowered to choose schools.
  2. Schools tailor their curricula and more to fit desires of parents and needs of students.
  3. More diverse schools open and continually adapt to best serve kids and keep their edge on other schools.
  4. System of continual growth and improvement is established with no ceiling created.

Common Core First

  1. Schools teach Common Core curricula, but change extracurricular activities and amenities (sports, aftercare services, trade school services, etc.) to differentiate themselves from other schools and compete for parents.
  2. Parents choose schools based on bells and whistles, while all kids get the same minimum education, with the exception of a few elite schools that choose to teach outside and above Common Core.
  3. Common Core becomes the academic ceiling. Schooling stagnation ensues.
  4. Politicians try to get new updated version of Common Core implemented.
  5. Repeat.

Sound familiar?

Common Core just perpetuates our current, cyclical system where a slight improvement might happen in the short term, then a status quo settles in. Furthermore, it takes time—which many families don’t have—to incite revisiting and changing established, top-down government policies.

To establish an educational system that will improve itself continually and responsively for the betterment of all children, school choice must come first.