- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Business Roundtable President John Engler furnishes an all-too-typical defense of the Common Core national curriculum standards, one based on superficial thinking and deception rather than critical analysis (“Common Core can make America competitive,” Commentary, July 23.)

For one thing, Mr. Engler gives no good reason why high standards must be national, and he ignores the vacuum of meaningful research connecting national standards to better educational outcomes. Perhaps more egregiously, Mr. Engler suggests that Common Core opponents who fear federal control have “misplaced” concerns that “threaten the strength of our economy.” You can reasonably say as much only if you ignore that the federal “Race to the Top” program strong-armed states into adopting the Core, and the sizable evidence that school choice — not centralized control — is the key to educational success. Ignore those truths is what Mr. Engler does in his piece.

NEAL McCLUSKEY

Washington