One reason the Common Core fared so well is that its authors eschewed the vague and politically correct nonsense that infected so many state standards (and earlier attempts at national standards).

via The Common Core Curriculum – Chester E. Finn, Jr. & Michael J. Petrilli – National Review Online.

I currently count myself among those leery of just about anything that the federal government has a hand in.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this new Common Core Curriculum being adopted.  I know that locally they are being studied, but I don’t know what will come of it.

I like the idea of setting standards and measuring students based on how they perform compared to the standards.  However, I am concerned that the curriculum standards will become a tool that will be used to bludgeon teachers and students in the future when they fail to measure up to the standard in some way or another.  I lean toward the implementation of the Core Curriculum to as local a level as possible.  If a school chooses to focus its energies on how to save the planet by recycling Capri-sun juice bags, then that’s fine.  However, let them live with the consequences of that philosophy and for heaven’s sake, please don’t tie it to money from the federal government.

This is brief summary of the money spent by the Department of Education:

ED currently administers a budget of $63.7 billion in FY 2010 discretionary appropriations (including discretionary Pell Grant funding) and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education.

from the U.S. Department of Education website

According to my 4th grade math skills that equals $160.5 billion.  (whistle)

According to this site the average student to teacher ratio was 15.7 in 2006 with a total of 49 million students enrolled in public schools.  That averages out to about 3,121,000 teachers.

So, what if we just took the $160 billion and just gave it to teachers as their salary?  That would be just over $51,000 per teacher.  If we have to have a federal department of Education (which I would dispute), then lets just give the budgeted money directly to the teachers.  We certainly wouldn’t be spending the money less efficiently.