"For decades, students in different states have been taught different material at different rates and held to radically different standards. Several years ago, a small group of governors joined together in an effort to align their states' standards and assessments. This group expanded through the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. In 2007, curriculum...
Quotes on Common Core Standards
"The fact that it took well less than a year to write these very important standards doesn't necessarily mean they are inadequate, but it makes me wonder.
The fact that few if any classroom teachers were involved in the drafting of the standards--(none were asked to help draft the No Child Left Behind law)--doesn't necessarily make them inadequate, but it makes me wonder.
The fact that much of the drafting process was done in secrecy doesn't necessarily make them inadequate, but it makes me wonder."
"Over a typical standards time horizon of seven (7) years, we project Common Core implementation costs will total approximately $15.8 billion across participating states. This constitutes a 'mid-range' estimate that only addresses the basic expenditures required for implementation of the new standards. It does not include the cost of additional expensive or controversial reforms that are sometimes recommended to help students meet high standards, such as performance-based compensation or reduced class sizes."
"Within state variation is four to five times larger than the variation between states. Put another way, anyone who follows NAEP scores knows that the difference between Massachusetts and Mississippi is quite large. What is often overlooked is that every state has a mini-Massachusetts and Mississippi contrast within its own borders. Common state standards only target the differences between states, not within them, sharply limiting common state standards' potential impact on achievement differences."
"'The idea that the Common Core standards are nationally-imposed is a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy. The Common Core academic standards were both developed and adopted by the states, and they have widespread bipartisan support. GOP leaders like Jeb Bush and governors Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, and Bill Haslam have supported the Common Core standards because they realize states must stop dummying down academic standards and lying about the performance of children and schools.'"
"As admitted by one of the creators of Common Core, Dr. Jason Zimba, at a meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in March of 2010, Common Core defines 'college--readiness' as ready for a nonselective community college, not a four--year university."
"States face key spending decisions as they implement the Common Core State Standards, and a new study finds that they could save about $927 million—or spend as much as $8.3 billion—depending on the approaches they choose in three vital areas: curriculum materials, tests, and professional development."
"For far too long, grade schools and high schools have been inefficient and failing to educate students because of incoherent curricula and vacuous course offerings. As E. D. Hirsch writes in The Schools We Need, the 'lack of shared knowledge among American students not only holds back their average progress, creating a national excellence gap, but, more drastically, holds back disadvantaged students, thus creating a fairness gap as well.'
The CCSSI [Common Core State Standards Initiative] is designed to close these gaps in three important ways.
First, by attempting to convey knowledge cumulatively and coherently, grade by grade, it emphasizes the connection between prior knowledge and leaning that cognitive science tells us is essential for genuine learning to take place. ...
Second, the CCSSI is designed to close the knowledge gap by encouraging students to develop 'mutually reinforcing skills and exhibit mastery of standards for reading and writing across a range of texts and classrooms.' ...
The third, and perhaps most important, reason that the CCSSI is designed to close the knowledge gap is that it is language-centered (not image-centered) and reading-based. This is crucial for advanced cognitive development, not only because it requires students to develop habits of thought that force the brain to translate symbols into concepts, but also because it recognizes that facts and information acquired through careful and intensive reading are the foundation for all knowledge."
"Without standards, every teacher can do whatever he or she wishes. That's not innovation. It is chaos. It is what we have had for a very long time."
"Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said that if the common standards take firm hold in public education over time, they will increasingly touch private schools.
'They'll be affected in a more gradual and spotty way, but of course they'll be affected,' he said, including by 'practical things, like college-entrance expectations and college-entrance tests, things that they are part of even if they're not part of their state standards and testing systems.'"
"Why do Common Core's architects believe that reading more nonfiction and 'informational' texts in English classes (and in other high school classes) will improve students' college readiness?
Their belief seems to be based on what they see as the logical implication of the fact that college students read more informational than literary texts. However, there is absolutely no empirical research to suggest that college readiness is promoted by informational or nonfiction reading in high school English classes (or in mathematics and science classes).
In fact, the history of the secondary English curriculum in 20th-century America suggests that the decline in readiness for college reading stems in large part from an increasingly incoherent, less challenging literature curriculum from the 1960s onward. This decline has been propelled by the fragmentation of the year-long English course into semester electives, the conversion of junior high schools into middle schools, and the assignment of easier, shorter, and contemporary texts—often in the name of multiculturalism."
"We at the Fordham Institute have been evaluating state standards for more than fifteen years. In 2010, we released a comprehensive review of the clarity, specificity, content, and rigor of every state's existing ELA and math standards, along with our evaluation of the final draft of the Common Core. In that analysis, the Common Core earned a B-plus from our ELA experts and an A-minus from our math experts. In the same evaluation, Wisconsin's English language arts and math standards earned a D and an F, respectively. By choosing to adopt the Common Core, Wisconsin has dramatically boosted the quality, clarity, and rigor of its expectations in these two critical areas.
When judged against international standards for ELA and math, the Common Core fares equally well."
"Common Core is not 'ObamaCore,' as some suggest. While President Obama often tries to claim credit, the truth is that the development of Common Core was well underway before he took office in January 2009. Some argue that states were coerced into adopting Common Core by the Obama administration as a requirement for applying for its Race to the Top grant competition (and No Child Left Behind waiver program). But the administration has stated that adoption of 'college and career readiness standards' doesn't necessarily mean adoption of Common Core."
"Common Core supposedly will enable students to transition 'seamlessly' to college or work and ultimately 'compete in the global economy.' What this actually means is that students will be trained for jobs—a concept recycled from earlier Progressive theory but given a new twist. The new standards extend the 'school to work' idea beyond the longstanding practice of providing vocational education alternatives for students not inclined to pursue a four-year college degree; instead, they dictate that even the academic English curriculum be recreated along more utilitarian lines. Whether this experiment will achieve the goal is doubtful; whether the goal itself is worthy seems not to have been considered."
"I predict these standards will result in one of two outcomes: Either they will lead to a revolution in teaching and learning. Or they will end up in the overflowing dustbin of abandoned reforms, with people throwing up their hands and decrying that public schools just don't work. And the coming months will determine which outcome comes to pass. …
What has me optimistic is that teachers want these standards to succeed. We recently polled our members, and 75 percent of our teachers support the Common Core standards. That's no surprise—because teachers, including many AFT teachers, played a fundamental role in the design and review of these standards."
"These standards, which hold such potential to create deeper learning, are instead creating a serious backlash—as officials seek to make them count before they make them work."
"We are committed to the success of our students. That means getting the transition to Common Core standards right. That's why today I am calling for a moratorium on the stakes associated with Common Core assessments."
"The Common Core State Standards are part of an effort that, if one chose to, could have its origins drawn all the way back to the country's early republican era. Then, people such as Pennsylvania's own Benjamin Rush were calling for the creation of a public schooling system that would, 'by producing one general and uniform system of education…render the mass of the people more homogeneous and thereby fit them more easily for uniform and peaceable government.' ... The goal was to create a consistent, values-shaping education for all citizens of the new nation. But this ran up against a much more deeply-ingrained tradition: local — indeed, for a long time family and church — control of education, which more or less held sway in American education until the mid-1960s, when the federal government first became deeply involved in American schooling. Quite simply, until very recently few people would have even contemplated having federally supported, national curriculum standards. Local control is cherished."
"WHAT became the Common Core began quite modestly. Several years ago, many organizations, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose members are top-ranking state education officials, independently noticed that the content and scoring of high school 'exit' tests varied widely between states. In 2006, for instance, 91 percent of students in Mississippi passed a mathematics exit exam on the first attempt, while only 65 percent did so in Arizona. At the same time, students' performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress often differed from the state results.
This was not just embarrassing: it looked unprofessional. The governors and the school chiefs decided to work together to create a single set of standards and a common grading criteria. Private funding, led by some $35 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allowed the coalition to spread its wings. Aligning tests became an opportunity to specify what every American child should know."
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