Letter: Common Core

April 10, 2014 

The March 15 Idaho Statesman carried an article titled "Bill Gates supports Common Core."

In the article, Mr. Gates talks about the value of standardization. Standardization is Windows. Do we really want the education version of Windows for our children?

What happens when everyone is taught alike? What happens to innovation and creativity if no one brings a different idea to the table? Mr. Gates' statement that "standardization is especially important to allow for innovation in the classroom" is double-speak.

United States education stands apart from the regimented systems in China and other countries. Local control of education has made the U.S. the greatest economic power on earth. This independence has fueled innovation. It's made our colleges and universities magnets for students around the world. In 2013 the United States led the world in number of new patents - hardly the signature of a country with a failing education system.

Yet, Mr. Gates is spending a great deal of money to standardize education. In a September 2013 Harvard University interview, he said, "It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won't know for probably a decade."

Isn't it time we asked some hard questions?

Mary Ollie, Meridian

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