Orange County Register -- In hindsight, it looks inevitable: Faced with a predictable mess of regulations, deadlines and bureaucratic challenges, California supporters of the Common Core standards have turned to a group of educational experts to manage the process.
Who are these experts? Stanford University professors — in collaboration with the California Teachers Association, the largest instructors' union in the state. They're putting together a transition-management program designed to disseminate Common Core competence in a top-down way. The effort will train "160 teachers and 24 administrators, who, in turn, will reach about 50,000 educators over three years," said the Los Angeles Times.
It's all quite logical. How better than a top-down management strategy to implement Common Core's envisioned educational system — one that uses standardized test performance to rank and prepare students for careers largely spent in the similarly quantified environment of big business and big government?
As polarizing as it may be to root for Common Core's failure, the new Stanford-CTA training program is a badly mistaken way of working toward its success.
In an approach typical of easily lampooned corporate action plans and government policy papers, Stanford and CTA have paired numerical goals with a clear timetable.
Our elites, meanwhile, have failed over and over again to make good on our biggest goals and timetables — whether the setting is Iraq, Afghanistan, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Obamacare.
This is a damning pattern that betokens a far greater problem than mere incompetence or misplaced priorities. It reveals that the faith that the management class has placed in policy planning is, in fact, misplaced. They encourage us to expect far more from their institutions than they can deliver. And when we are let down, they move the goalposts and do it again.
Thanks to our misbegotten managerial elite, the social and economic core we really have in common is a rotten one. More of the same won't change that, in the California education system or anywhere else.
REPRINTED FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER