July 19, 2013
reasons why the Common Core Standards are losing popularity
Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor
what could be compared to, well, many education reform initiatives
over the years-educational technology included-a once-widely,
and quickly, accepted initiative is dividing the education community;
begging the question, 'Are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
just another flash in education's pan?'
states and the District of Columbia have adopted the CCSS in
what was once lauded as a giant step in the right direction
in trying to improve student achievement and college- and career-readiness.
K-12 Standards, developed for Mathematics and English Language
Arts, are designed to bring student learning into the 21st Century
through the inclusion of, and focus on, digital media, social
learning tools, critical thinking skills, and online assessments.
many states, policy makers, and educators are saying that though
giving the go-ahead was easy, successful implementation planning
didn't factor well enough into the decision to adopt, causing
problems states are only now beginning to fully comprehend.
you'll find the four most widely discussed contentions with
Limited resources for implementation
States that are already strapped for funding and have adopted
the CCSS have spent many millions of dollars to create curriculum
around them, implement them, and create tests aligned to the
standards. The federal government also contributed roughly $360
million to help develop core-aligned tests.
some states are now prohibiting spending for CCSS implementation.
Examples include Kansas, Arizona, Michigan, and Indiana. Many
states representatives say the cost of teacher training, new
textbooks and materials, as well as the educational technology
and IT foundation needed to successfully implement the CCSS,
was not discussed properly prior to adoption.
Underdeveloped high stakes testing
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers
(AFT) recently called for a moratorium on the high-stakes implications
of Common Core testing until the standards have been properly
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
And it is happening
throughout the country," said Weingarten. (Read "Editorial:
Make the Common Core standards work before making them count.")
Weingarten isn't the only one. The Los Angeles Times Editorial
Board also urged city officials to delay CCSS testing until
implementation is completed.
are divided over the value of the new curriculum standards,
which might or might not lead students to the deeper reading,
reasoning and writing skills that were intended," the board
explained. "But on this much they agree: The curriculum
will fail if it isn't carefully implemented with meaningful
tests that are aligned with what the students are supposed to
it would be better off delaying the new curriculum
a couple of years and doing it right, rather than allowing common
core to become yet another educational flash in the pan that
never lives up to its promise."
have also started a campaign to "opt" their children
out of the Common Core-aligned high-stakes standardized tests.
For example, parents in both Utah and New York are voicing their
concerns on whether or not the CCSS are valid.
Not aligned for college-readiness
A recent report reveals that although most states have adopted
the CCSS, their diplomas remain CCSS deficient. Of the 45 states
and the District of Columbia that have voluntarily adopted Common
Core, only 11 have aligned their graduation requirements in
mathematics with those standards. (Read "Report: High school
diplomas don't support Common Core.")
do not require high school graduates to complete the math classes
that typically cover the content described in the new standards,"
explains the report. "Until states and districts re-examine
their graduation policies, a high school diploma will not necessarily
signify college- and career-readiness as envisioned by the Common
Apart from many questioning the validity of the CCSS' claims
that the new standards will better teach students the skills
they need to be college- and career-ready, many in the education
sector are worried that the CCSS will become a new No Child
Left Behind (NCLB)-turning today's brightest minds into testing
world changes. The future is indiscernible. Clinging to a static
strategy in a dynamic world may be comfortable, even comforting,
but it's a Titanic-deck-chair exercise," explained Marion
Brady, a veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer,
and author in a recent Washington Post article.
said that the CCSS assume that what kids need to know is covered
by one or another of the traditional core subjects. "In
fact," she said, "the unexplored intellectual terrain
lying between and beyond those familiar fields of study is vast,
expands by the hour, and will go in directions no one can predict."
word 'standards' gets an approving nod from the public (and
from most educators) because it means 'performance that meets
a standard,'" she continued. "However, the word also
means 'like everybody else,' and standardizing minds is what
the Standards try to do. Common Core Standards fans sell the
first meaning; the Standards deliver the second meaning. Standardized
minds are about as far out of sync with deep-seated American
values as it's possible to get."