Common Core: Myths and Facts

Friday, March 7, 2014Printer-friendly version

There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the Common Core State Standards. However, journalists are working to set the record straight. Here are some of the best news clips with links, excerpts and quotes from educators and advocates:

Common Core: Myths and Facts

By Amy Golod, U.S. News & World Report

March 4, 2014

"The idea behind common standards seemed simple: Address the uneven academic expectations from state to state by shifting all levels of K-12 American schooling to become more rigorous.

"Over the course of their education, students would think more critically at earlier ages. They would be better prepared to pursue college or career training, and better equipped to compete globally. "On a practical level, that would mean something as simple as learning how to tell time in second grade instead of third grade, or being able to write compellingly about the circumstances that led to the French Revolution instead of just rattling off dates and names.

"It would also mean that if students in Wyoming moved to Wisconsin, they would not encounter a wild swing in the baseline knowledge and skills expected of them.

"'The standards are a floor, not a ceiling' said Henry Kranendonk, a retired Milwaukee Public Schools math specialist and a respected voice nationally on curriculum development. "'From the floor, will there be kids who can go beyond that? Of course. We hope they will,' Kranendonk said. 'But we also hope to provide a baseline for what all kids should be able to grapple with and learn at each stage of their education.'"

Common Core 101: A primer to separate education fact from fiction

By Erin Richards, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

March 5, 2014

"After months of rhetoric about nationwide academic standards, it's time for a quick comprehension quiz.

"Choose the statement that accurately describes the Common Core State Standards.

a. They are voluntary.

b. They are more rigorous than Wisconsin's previous academic expectations.

c. They have been in the works for years.

d. The curriculum and teaching methods are decided locally. Mark the following statements about the Common Core true or false.

a. The Common Core includes sex education standards.

b. The Common Core would position schools to collect behavioral data from students, such as from retinal or fingerprint scans.

c. Business leaders support the standards because they want a steady supply of low-functioning workers to fill rote jobs.

d. The standards amount to a federal takeover of local education - even for private schools."

"How many multiple choice statements did you circle? (They're all correct, actually.) Did you mark any statements true? (They're all false.)" And, "Some claims regarding the Common Core are simply untrue.

"Websites around the country with monikers like Stop Common Core Illinois perpetuate claims that the academic standards include guidelines for sex education. The link provided goes to a set of recommended standards developed by health groups that have no affiliation with the Common Core movement.

"Another claim, that the Common Core could lead to an alarming set of tests on students involving retinal scans, is also untrue."

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