Common Core: Assembly-Line Education?

 The Common Core State Standards Initiative treats kids like little machines on an assembly line to "college or career readiness," rather than as unique human beings, each with different gifts and aspirations, a new documentary, "Building the Machine," claims.

A short version, under 40 minutes, was released Monday and is available on YouTube. (You can watch it below.) A longer version will be released sometime this summer.

The film is made by the Home School Legal Defense Association and directed by Ian Reid, who has worked on documentaries for The Heritage Foundation and Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

"Building the Machine" begins with an account of how the Common Core came to be adopted by 45 states. Many experts, most of them critics of the standards, are interviewed.

The film does give voice to the critics, however, mostly through Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The best defense of the standards are the standards themselves, Petrilli says. "They are good standards," he asserts as he encourages the audience to read the standards before deciding whether they approve of them.