Common Core State Standards have been described as “rigorous,” “clear,” “internationally-benchmarked.” Their proponents claim they will bring America up to competitive par with better-performing educational systems like those in Finland and Singapore and make our children career and college ready. Education advocates and parents are told the Standards are good for the nation’s children, promote parity in education, and ensure success in college, career, and life. But are the Common Core State Standards indeed good for America’s students?
In 2010, 45 states and the District of Columbia quietly adopted educational standards for their schools. The standards had never been field-tested. They were developed with little help and input from childhood educators and scholars. The federal government incentivized their national adoption through a grant program, Race to the Top, stemming from a stimulus package designed to prop up a flailing economy.[i] The standards claimed to make students ready for college, career, and life by, in part, radically eliminating educational material previously covered by many public school curriculums and introducing material that supposedly will better prepare students for participation in the modern economy.
The standards were adopted with limited opportunity for public debate. They failed to provide mechanisms for their enforcement or revision, and turned what is known about early childhood development on its head.
As the effects of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have begun to be felt nationwide, parents, educators, and experts on all sides of the political arena have come to recognize the initiative’s inherent flaws. While the Standards profess to be good for America’s children and her economy, they compromise the sovereignty of the states and the authority of parents.
[i] White House Office of the Press Secretary, “Race to the Top Fact Sheet,” accessed October 8, 2014, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-race-top.