Common Core as a ‘tight-loose’ approach to education
By Tyler on March 15th, 2012
This is one in a series of posts examining the Common Core State Standards and the conversation surrounding their impact on teaching and learning.
Chester Finn had an interesting post on the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog the other day arguing that “small-government conservatives” should like the Common Core State Standards because of its “tight-loose” approach to management of America’s education system.
What he says is it creates a system that’s tight on goals (or “ends”) and loose on the means for accomplishing them.
The “tight-loose” term is thrown around often in business — and now on occasion from Arne Duncan and others in education reform circles. In simple terms, what he’s saying is that the Common Core standards create a clear set of goals and standards that states can agree to and choose to adopt, but that the details of how schools reach those goals and teachers teach toward those goals would be left up to those at the local level.
Seems logical, right? What do you think?
In trying to find out more about this “tight-loose” idea, I stumbled across this post on the Ed Sector blog from a couple years ago from a teacher who compared this approach to what happens with student learning in her classroom. Here’s what she said:
“…this method is a tool I love to use in the classroom. Give students an open ended task with a clear goal and sit back and watch what happens. Usually, the students go above and beyond my expectations and manage to do so creatively. Although, to be honest, the middle part- where all the creativity and problem solving skills are working themselves out- is extremely noisy, messy, and embodies exactly why I named my blog “organized chaos”.
Learning is messy! Isn’t it??
No comments yet