Will Abandoning Common Core Set School Equality Back to Brown V. Board of Ed Days?

May 14, 2014

NYS Education Commissioner John King
NYS Education Commissioner John King
Credit nysed.gov

New York’s Education Commissioner took the 60th anniversary of the Brown versus Board of Education decision to defend the Common Core standards in schools.  John King went after the programs critics.  He says Common Core is not about a federal curriculum or making testing companies get rich.

“What those who resist higher standards are really saying is that some kids just aren’t going to make it and that’s acceptable.  It’s not, it’s not acceptable,” King said.  “It’s an assault on the values of America.  It’s also in the end shortsighted because society bears the cost of a permanent underclass, under-prepared for the 21st century economy.”

King drew praise from U-S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for pushing for higher standards in schools.  The Brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court ruling in 1954 outlawed separate schools for black and white students. 

EXCERPT OF UNANIMOUS 1954 BROWN DECISION

  • "Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn."
  • "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

King says without demanding standards in schools, inequality is drifting back toward the days of little Linda Brown.

“And 60 years after Brown we should not be able to point to schools in a single neighborhood, where one school serves mostly poor students and achieves painfully discouraging results and another school, blocks away, serves mostly affluent students and puts them on the path to success,” said King.  “That kind of segregation, that is a disgrace.”

  King added that children’s best chance of success is education – especially children of color.  He added they’ll also be the ones to lose if standards aren’t improved and upheld.  King spoke today at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany.