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Common Core

National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy

Nicholas Tampio

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How the Common Core standardizes our kids’ education—and how it threatens our democracy.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is one of the most controversial pieces of education policy to emerge in decades. Detailing what and when K–12 students should be taught, it has led to expensive reforms and displaced other valuable ways to educate children. In this nuanced and provocative book, Nicholas Tampio argues that, though national standards can raise the education bar for some students, the democratic costs outweigh the benefits.

To make his case, Tampio describes the history, philosophy…

How the Common Core standardizes our kids’ education—and how it threatens our democracy.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is one of the most controversial pieces of education policy to emerge in decades. Detailing what and when K–12 students should be taught, it has led to expensive reforms and displaced other valuable ways to educate children. In this nuanced and provocative book, Nicholas Tampio argues that, though national standards can raise the education bar for some students, the democratic costs outweigh the benefits.

To make his case, Tampio describes the history, philosophy, content, and controversy surrounding the Common Core standards for English language arts and math. He also explains and critiques the Next Generation Science Standards, the Advanced Placement US History curriculum framework, and the National Sexuality Education Standards. Though each set of standards has admirable elements, Tampio asserts that democracies should disperse education authority rather than entrust one political or pedagogical faction to decide the country’s entire philosophy of education.

Ultimately, this lively and accessible book presents a compelling case that the greater threat to democratic education comes from centralized government control rather than from local education authorities.

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Common Core

Nicholas Tampio

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Reviews

Reviews

In Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy, Nicholas Tampio offers a concise and readable anatomy of the Common Core movement as well as a case against national standards generally.

The book is brief, pithy, to-the-point and well-focused, making it a great gift for your civilian friend who wants a quick, accessible explanation of what all the fuss is about.

Common Core provides a useful reminder of how educators—together with parents, and civil society—should be engaged in a larger political process of how schools, curricula, and national standards are organized.

Well-researched, clearly written, and thoughtfully presented, this excellent critique of Common Core is written with conviction but without vitriol. Nicholas Tampio’s first-rate book, which is admirably respectful of opinions contrary to his own, is a pleasure to read.

A brilliant take on the problems of the Common Core and any effort to impose uniform standards on all children. Thoughtful, evidence-based, and compelling, this should be a must-read for education policymakers and anyone concerned about the future of education.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421424637
Illustration Description
1 halftone, 3 line drawings
Table of Contents

About the Author
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Arguments for National Education Standards
2. Arguments against National Education Standards
3. English Standards, Close Reading, and Testing
4. Math

About the Author
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Arguments for National Education Standards
2. Arguments against National Education Standards
3. English Standards, Close Reading, and Testing
4. Math Standards, Understanding, and College and Career Readiness
5. Science Standards, Scientific Unity, and the Problem of Sustainability
6. History Standards, American Identity, and the Politics of Storytelling
7. Sexuality Standards, Gender Identity, and Religious Freedom
Conclusion
Epilogue
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Nicholas Tampio

Nicholas Tampio is an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. He is the author of Kantian Courage: Advancing the Enlightenment in Contemporary Political Theory and Deleuze’s Political Vision.
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