Most educational publishers are still toeing the line when it comes to the Common Core Curriculum Standards, which are in effect in 43 states and the District of Columbia. But cracks are beginning to appear in the once-impenetrable superstructure of the government program, and some textbook companies are beginning to retreat from the CCCS market.
Education Week reports that Discovery K12, which bills itself as “an online homeschool platform and curriculum for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade,” also advertises that it is now proudly “non-Common Core”:
Discovery K12 offers a traditional, Non-Common Core curriculum that gives students a world-view using today’s cutting-edge technologies. Reading classic literature, writing essays, creating presentations, and conducting research are important aspects to the program. Discovery K12 is a flexible program that allows parents to use all or parts of the curriculum with full control over the instruction.
“Check out their pitch, in a press release issued today,” writes Catherine Gewertz, the author of the EW article, who further notes:
They manage to use the phrase “non-common core curriculum” four times in one short statement (highlighting is mine).
Gewertz further points out the use of another buzzphrase at the Discovery K12 site — “classic literature” — which is an unambiguous effort to distance itself from some of the more questionable reading selections that have appear in CC-aligned bibliographies. A list compiled by the Newburgh (N.Y.) School District, for example, was pulled last December after parents complained about a passage in one of the approved literary works in which the 13-year-old narrator graphically describes his father’s genitals and a sex act. Another Common Core-aligned worksheet that raised parents’ hackles contained a reading passage about adultery.
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