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."

Valerie Strauss
The Washington Post
March 10, 2010
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"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."

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"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."

Tom Loveless
Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings
February 2012
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"'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.'"

Arne Duncan
U.S. Department of Education
February 23, 2012
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"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."

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"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."

Catherine Gewertz
Education Week
June 6, 2012
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"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."

J. M. Anderson
Minding the Campus
The Manhattan Institute
July 20, 2012
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"The Common Core kills innovation. When it's the only game in town, it's the only game in town."

Marion Brady
The Washington Post
August 21, 2012
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"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."

Marc Tucker
Education Week
September 5, 2012
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"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.'"

Erik W. Robelen
Education Week
October 9, 2012
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"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."

Sandra Stotsky
Issue Brief, #3800
The Heritage Foundation
December 11, 2012
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"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."

Kathleen Porter-Magee
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
March 22, 2013
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"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."

Kathleen Porter-Magee
Sol Stern
National Review Online
April 3, 2013
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"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."

Jane Robbins
Academic Questions, volume 26
National Association of Scholars
April 16, 2013
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"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."

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
April 30, 2013
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"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."

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
April 30, 2013
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"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."

Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
April 30, 2013
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"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."

Neal McCluskey
Cato Institute
May 15, 2013
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"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."

Andrew Hacker
Claudia Dreifus
The New York Times
June 8, 2013
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Commentary or Blog Post

"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...

"On August 15, the Washington Post ran a column by Marion Brady on the Common Core State Standards. It was very well written and expressed very well, I thought, the objections to the CCSS that many good teachers have felt but not always expressed so eloquently. But much that was said, in my opinion, was off the mark, sometimes way off the mark. It is, I think, worth taking these...

"As I've said and written about a million times, there are plenty of reasons to be against the Common Core. As with any public-policy issue, there are pros and cons, upsides and downsides—in short, trade-offs.

Still, many of those crusading against the Common Core have been playing fast and loose with the facts and purposefully spreading misinformation—nobody more than the folks at the...

Offers a brief list of the major arguments for and against the Common Core Standards.

"The common standards aren't just for public schools, it seems.

With all but four states having adopted them since 2010, districts have little choice but to implement the Common Core State Standards. But many private schools are also making the transition."

"New York and Kentucky have begun testing based on the new Common Core education standards, and they are quickly seeing frustration among educators, parents, and students.

The states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative are supposed to fully implement the standards by the 2014–2015 school year. Common Core is a set of uniform math and English language...

"At bottom, the CSSSI [Common Core State Standards Initiative] is needed because it upholds rigorous standards and will challenge students a great deal more than they are being challenged now. And when teachers across the board demand more from students, they work harder and learn more."

"The development of the Common Core, the model school curriculum standards that have been adopted by 45 states, offers us a glimpse into the dark underbelly of the democratic drift toward soft despotism. Proponents tout Common Core as 'state-led' and say states 'voluntarily adopt' the standards. Philanthropic and corporate America have gotten involved voluntarily. Parents and students—those...

"Ignore the fact that specific Common Core State Standards will open up enough cans of worms to keep subject-matter specialists arguing among themselves forever. Consider instead the merit of Standards from a general perspective...."

"Federal intervention into education has been a growing problem over the past four-and-a-half decades and is being supersized by the Obama Administration's current efforts to push states to nationalize their standards, tests, and, ultimately, curriculum."

"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."

"All but five (5) states have committed to adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics and are participating in one of the federally-sponsored consortia developing aligned assessments. Few of the participants, however, have carefully analyzed the costs involved."

"[Minnesota Representative] Kline has long opposed Race to the Top, the $4.3 billion competitive grant initiative that is the centerpiece of Obama's reform efforts. From his perspective, 'it was irresponsible' for congressional Democrats to give Secretary of Education Duncan $5 billion 'with no strings attached.' Kline also doesn't like that the administration required adoption of Common Core...

"There is a reason big, modern countries care about education: Decades of experience and heaps of research have shown a close tie between the knowledge and skills of a nation's workforce and the productivity of that nation's economy.

One way to ensure that young people develop the skills they need to compete globally is to set clear standards about what schools should teach and students...

Obama is quietly busy making an end-run around our constitutional system, which forbids federal control of what your children learn in school.

"Standardized tests have been a scourge of student life in America for more than 50 years, but it's fair to say they're more pressure-packed and ubiquitous than ever before. The ACT and its counterpart, the SAT, have become one of the largest determining factors in the college-admissions process, particularly for élite schools. At least this year's applicants should be familiar with the format...

"Of all the arguments for and against the adoption of the national Common Core State Standards, the educational benchmarks in English language arts and mathematics, the claim that states had no choice in the matter is the weakest of all. That contention is based on the flawed idea that when the federal government offers money for a program, states must accept it. There is no legal or fiscal...

"Lawmakers in some states hope to halt the transition to the Common Core State Standards, even as school districts across the country are rolling them out.

In Alabama, senators are considering a bill to repeal the standards, which the state's Board of Education adopted in 2010. ...

Legislators in Indiana, Georgia and South Dakota have also taken steps to halt Common Core, though...

"On August 15, the Washington Post's 'The Answer Sheet' ran a column by me titled 'Eight Problems with the Common Core Standards.'

Marc Tucker, long-time major player in the current test-based education reform effort, in an Education Week 'Top Performers' blog, took me to task with a piece called '8 Problems With the Common Core State Standards? I Don't Think So.' ...

I'll stand...

"The national standards are meant to replace the individual state standards now in place, some of which are said by educators to be essentially useless to guide instruction because they are too vague, poorly written and/or incomplete.

Many educators and parents oppose national standards, fearing that this will lead to a national curriculum and national assessment test that would take...

"Despite three (3) federal laws that prohibit the federal government from directing, supervising or controlling elementary and secondary school curricula, programs of instruction and instructional materials, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has placed the nation on the road to a national curriculum."

"In spite of the United States being one of the top spenders on education, U.S. students rank behind many of their international peers in reading, math, and science."

"Before examining the assaults, however, let's remind ourselves what the Common Core is not. It is no guarantee of stronger student achievement or school performance. Huge challenges await any (serious) academic standards on the implementation, assessment and accountability fronts. To get traction in classrooms, states that adopt these standards (and all but four say they're doing so) must...

"With the release of a new Brookings Institution report today, and one from a consortium of groups last week, resistance to the national-standards offensive seems to be mounting. And even though almost every state in the union has adopted the Common Core, and few are likely to formally undo that, the war against the Core can still be won."

"By definition, America has never had a national education policy; this has indeed contributed to our country's ambivalence on the subject. As it stands, the Common Core is currently getting hit mainly from the right. Tea Party-like groups have been gaining traction in opposition to the program, arguing that it is another intrusion into the lives of ordinary Americans by a faceless elite....

Chart or Graph

Common Core Implementation Costs.

This interactive map shows which states have adopted the common core standards.

"A study estimated the transitional costs of implementing the common core in three areas: curriculum materials, assessments, and professional development. It estimated current state and national spending in those areas and projected the net cost or savings for the three approaches."

Analysis Report White Paper

The adoption of the Common Core State Standards by nearly all the states, combined with tough literacy assessments that are now in the offing, will soon reveal that literacy skills of average students fall below international standards and that the gap in literacy skills between students from advantaged and disadvantaged families is huge.

Common Core's standards not only present a serious threat to state and local education authority, but also put academic quality at risk. Pushing fatally flawed education standards into America's schools is not the way to improve education for America's students.

Our aim in this paper is to convince state and local education policy makers to do two things: To emphasize Common Core's existing literary-historical standards and to add and prioritize a new literary-historical standard of their own.

It is the purpose of this study to stimulate an informed policy dialogue about the likely costs of implementing the Common Core standards. The nationwide calculations are intended to encourage similar, more detailed efforts in individual states that take into account additional local considerations.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics represent a sea change in standards-based reform and have now been adopted in forty-five states and the District of Columbia. Smart implementation of the Common Core is the next—and greatest—challenge for these states

The push for common education standards argues that all American students should study a common curriculum, take comparable tests to measure their learning, and have the results interpreted on a common scale, with the scale divided into performance levels to indicate whether students are excelling, learning an adequate amount, or falling short.

This two-part piece finds Jane Robbins tracing the background behind the Common Core Standards. Robbins believes that the curriculum promotes a progressive agenda to create a "school to work" society. Bauerlein, on the other hand, seeks to refute Robbins' claims, arguing that the Common Core Standards effectively restore some of the ground we've lost in American education.

This report focuses on the college and career readiness levels of the ACT®-tested US high school graduating class of 2012. The report represents 52 percent of all 2012 graduates in the United States.

Members of the Pioneer Institute review the expanding role of the federal government in education by reviewing key legislation since President Johnson's Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. They also outline the congressional debate over concerns of retaining state sovereignty in education matters.

This review of state English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards is the latest in a series of Fordham evaluations dating back to 1997. It comes at a critical juncture, as states across the land consider adoption of the Common Core State Standards.


Neal McCluskey discusses the implications of the Common Core Standards, suggesting that the federal government will naturally be the one in oversight position.

"Bill Gates speaks about the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the potential benefits from adopting this intiative."

Gates was one of the driving funders behind the Standards.

"Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards and are in the early stages of implementing them. But as panelists concluded at an AEI research conference on Monday, the state-led initiative will face an uncertain future as it intersects with additional efforts to improve schooling, such as teacher accountability policies and charter schooling....

Joy Pullman, a researcher from the Heartland Institute, details the pros and cons of Common Core Standards, how the standards came to be, and what the implications are for the future of education under the Standards. This video provides listeners with a thorough overview of the issues surrounding the Common Core curriculum.

"What happens when the federal government extends its overreach into America's classrooms? Should all states be forced to teach kids the same thing?

Heritage's Lindsey Burke, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education, debated the repercussions of the Obama Administration's push for national education standards on 'Stossel' Thursday night.

Kathleen Porter-Magee of the Fordham...

"See an introduction to the new Common Core state standards including background on the design process, key features, and major differences."

"See an introduction to the new Common Core state standards including background on the design process, key features, and major differences."

"For nearly five decades, Washington's role in education has been growing at a tremendous pace, wresting educational authority away from states and local school districts. At the same time, educational achievement has remained flat. Now, the Obama Administration wants to double-down on this failed strategy and is pushing states to adopt national standards and tests to define and measure what...

"A profound change in educational standards and assessments is quietly underway. By 2014, almost every state in the country will have the same demanding standards for what students need to know before they graduate high school.

How will the Common Core State Standards Initiative change education as we know it? What can we expect going forward? And why is Minnesota one of only five...

A brief video on the implementation costs of the Common Core State Standards.

This video enthusiastically supports the Common Core Standards and shows how they will be helpful in allowing children to better compete against their global peers.

"President Obama, along with Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, have been promoting national standards in education. However, these policies would further remove parents and teachers from their children's education."

"On The Daily Circuit Tuesday, we discussed how the new Common Core standards for K-12 schools are changing U.S. education. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Pawlenty adopted the English language arts standards, but not the math standards while he was in office. Gov. Mark Dayton has stuck with that decision.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius spoke with The Daily Circuit about the thinking...

Primary Document

"We, the undersigned, representing viewpoints from across the political and educational spectrum, believe that whether children live in Mississippi or Minnesota, Berkeley or the Bronx, our expectations for their achievement should be equally high.

We therefore applaud the goals of the recently released Common Core State Standards, already adopted in most states, which articulate a much...

"I'm honored to be with you here today, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to talk to you about what I believe is one of the most important education initiatives of the past decade: the development and adoption of the Common Core State Standards.

I hope to help explain why the Common Core holds such promise, to demystify what the standards are all about, and to debunk some of the most...

Transcript of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

"Perhaps you feel locked into the Common Core thanks to receiving a $41.3 million round 3 Race to the Top grant. You could officially unadopt the Core — say 'no' to federal coercion — but might have to sacrifice funds that came, at least partially, from state taxpayers to begin with. But that grant as a relative matter — and it is relative that really counts — is infinitesimal. Dividing the...

Dr. Stotsky helped develop the Common Core curriculum, but in the end, did not endorse the standards for English. Her official statement lists 11 reasons why she did not give her approval.

In a letter to education secretary Arne Duncan, Missouri representative, Blaine Luetkemeyer expressed a variety of concerns about the implementation of Common Core Standards. One of these concerns had to do with the tracking system which coincides with the program - a potential invasion of privacy.

"Texas is a national leader in education reform and student achievement. Through our college and career-ready standards and assessments, strong school accountability and a focus on educator development, we have created an education system that prepares our students for success after graduation.

Despite our accomplishments, in order to submit an application that is preferred by the U.S...

"We are confronting the devastating effects of poverty by advocating for and establishing community schools to meet the social, emotional and health needs of children. We’re fighting for public schools that are safe, collaborative and welcoming environments, and for the resources kids need—so that budget cuts don't cause lifelong harm.

We've done these things because our goal is to make...

"This document in its entirety constitutes the complete 2010 Minnesota Academic Standards in English Language Arts K-12. It consists of the Common Core State Standards (shown in plain font) plus Minnesota's additions (shown in bold font)."

No Child Left Behind is a descendant of "The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965." Its opening lines describe it as "An Act [t]o close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind."

"Teachers and principals in New York have expressed strong concerns about the new high-stakes standardized tests supposedly aligned with the Common Core State Standards that were recently given to students across the state. The following letter to New York Education Commissioner John King from a number of New York principals explains the depth of the problems educators found with the tests."...

"'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...

This page provides links to downloadable copies of the actual Common Core Standards.