Common Core realities

I don’t know since when my beloved local NPR station got into writing such stories, but I love this piece disabusing many of the myths of Common Core:

“Common Core is a federal takeover of education.” 
The federal government did not write the standards, nor does it mandate that states adopt them.

They were developed by organizations made up of governors and school officials – theNational Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These two groups insist that the development of the standards was state-led and included insight from educators and experts…

Opponents also condemn the fact that private foundations, such as theBill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helped fund the development of the standards.

On, no, private foundations!!

“Common Core standards mean students will have to take even more tests.” 
Common Core has not led to more assessments.

For decades, North Carolina has implemented state and national tests, regardless of the standards. Today’s tests are aligned to the new Common Core standards. Right now, North Carolina lawmakers are weighing the fiscal and academic consequences of replacing their own state-written with national tests aligned to the new Math and English standards.

Now that’s a big myth.  We’ve got too many tests, but it really has nothing to do with Common Core.  Basically, it seems that some people have decided to take everything they don’t like about education and blame it on Common Core (hmmm, sounds similar to a certain health care policy).  Anyway, more myths usefully debunked at the site.


Photo of the day

From the National Geographic Tumblr:

President and Mrs. Johnson and Vice President Agnew watch Apollo 11 lift off at Cape Canaveral, July 1969.Photograph by Otis Imboden, National Geographic

President and Mrs. Johnson and Vice President Agnew watch Apollo 11 lift off at Cape Canaveral, July 1969.PHOTOGRAPH BY OTIS IMBODEN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Doctors for pot?

Mike Cobb has a nice post today about public opinion on marijuana legalization stemming from a recent NC poll on the issue.  At first glance, it appears that NC is much less favorably disposed towards medical marijuana.  But this appears to be a case where there’s an important question wording effect:

A majority of Tar Heel State voters support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, according to a recent Time Warner Cable News survey. The poll found that supporters outnumber opponents by a healthy 2:1 ratio – 62 percent to 30 percent. Younger and wealthier respondents were the most supportive, while Republicans were the least…

It also looks to me like North Carolina could be more conservative than most states on this issue, although question wording might explain this. In New York, for example, 88 percent of those surveyed support legalizing marijuana for medical reasons – just 9 percent opposed – and 57 percent support legalizing it for personal recreational use. In Florida, 82 percent support marijuana for medical use when prescribed by a doctor.

Even in Indiana, 52 percent support regulating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco. To our north,84 percent of Virginians support medical marijuana, although support for recreational use of it lags behind opposition, 46 percent to 48 percent.

All of these polls, however, mention a doctor prescribing marijuana, while in North Carolina, it was only the Elon poll that included this information in its question. Since the Elon poll finds higher levels of support, more similar to other states, referencing a doctor prescribing it is likely adding to the levels of support.

Nevertheless, compared to national views, North Carolina is definitely more conservative than trends found in national polls.

Part of me wonders how much this is the pure question-wording effect of “doctors prescribing” (a lot– I think) versus a real differentiation on policy where the lack of a doctor’s prescription might cause a lot of people to react in the manner of “suuuuure you got that for a ‘medical’ problem.”  I suspect it is mostly the former (nothing like bringing doctors into the question to get more support for legal abortion– “between a woman and her doctor”) and there’s surely some of the same going on with marijuana legalization.  And, oh, yeah, policy-wise, while I can accept some debate on “recreational use” (though you know where I stand) legalizing for medical use strikes me as very much a no-brainer on policy analysis grounds.

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