Gates Urges Teachers To Help Explain Common Core

The Washington Post (3/15, Layton) reports Bill Gates “called on teachers Friday to help parents understand the new Common Core academic standards in an effort to beat back ‘false claims’ lobbed by critics of the standards.” Addressing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Gates said, “There are many voices in this debate but none are more important or trusted than yours.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “has spent more than $170 million to develop and promote” the standards.

        Gates said on ABC’s This Week (3/16, Stephanopoulos), “I think it’s such an exciting thing to have high standards, to have quality standards and to have consistent standards. I’m thrilled this is moving forward and disappointed that, through confusion and various groups, its implementation is actually at risk in some states. … The Common Core is not a curriculum, it doesn’t tell you how to teach. It’s not a Federal takeover. Nobody’s pushing for that. … If [the Tea Party wants] the Congress to pass a bill saying they’ll never tell us what to do, that’s fine.”

        The Huffington Post (3/14, Resmovits) reports that Gates said that “the Common Core is the key to creativity for teachers,” adding that the transition to the standards is vital to improving college preparedness among US high school graduates. Gates refuted “critiques that the Common Core represents a national curriculum, a federal takeover or the end of innovation,” and said that teachers are in the best position to “provide the most effective response to critics.”

        Josh Encinias writes at the National Review (3/17) “The Corner” blog that Gates “defended the floundering program on This Week Sunday morning,” but suggests that the program is likely to “fail” because of “widespread teacher rejection of the program, student’s tanking test scores, and angry parents.”