The Military and Common Core

Friday, May 23, 2014Printer-friendly version

Military support for the CCSS is strong. The standards will better prepare students leaving high school to enter military service and sharing common standards ensures military families consistency when they are deployed to bases overseas or change stations within our country. Below are some of the best of recent clips with links, excerpts and quotes. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Group: Military children benefit from Common Core

By Ellen Ciurczak, Hattiesburg American (MS)

May 17, 2014

"I recently heard from a group that had a reason I had never heard of to support Common Core."


"There are 1.2 million military-connected children in the United States and they move three times more often than civilian children."

"According to the Department of Defense, military children move between six and nine times before they graduate from high school - that's a move every 18 to 24 months.

"Changing schools can negatively affect student achievement, and differing educational standards from state to state only exacerbate the problem.

"According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, students who move three or more times achieve a basic level of performance half the rate of their peers."


"Common Core State Standards can make life easier for children who are moving often.

"Families can be confident their children will receive a high-quality and consistent education when they move from state to state."


Common Core standards support national readiness

By Paul Eaton and Bill Center, the News Tribune (WA)

May 11, 2014

"As retired military leaders who have spent our careers developing and leading young people, we can state unequivocally that we agree with teachers on K-12 education's most important goal - higher student achievement that prepares young people for life after high school. The Department of Defense estimates that 75 percent of young Americans aged 17 to 24 cannot even consider military service as an option, many because they are unprepared to meet the minimum academic qualifications.

"This is a staggering number and should give us all pause.

"'Just as business and industry need a highly qualified workforce to compete in the 21st-century global marketplace, our armed forces need the same highly qualified soldiers, sailors, Marines and aviators to protect our national security,' said Daniel J. O'Neill, a retired U.S. Army major general and a superintendent of school in northeastern Pennsylvania. He understands both military readiness and education - and how the two depend on one another.

"The Common Core State Standards were initially developed out of a deep concern that American children were falling far behind their peers in other countries. The implications of a generation (or more) of schoolchildren unprepared to meet the challenges of a new global economy were frightening on many fronts.

"Washington state's Common Core Standards establish rigorous, internationally benchmarked learning goals that outline what students should know in mathematics and English Language Arts upon high school graduation and at each grade level in the K-12 system. Education leaders in our state helped shape the standards along with teachers, researchers and subject-matter experts in 44 other states. And the U.S. Department of Defense has also adopted the standards for use in its schools on military bases across the world.

"Common Core Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but provide clear goals for student learning. Teachers are free to use their own creativity and expertise to develop the instructional strategies that work best for each classroom and each student. This last point is especially important to the more than two million children from military families who will move, on average, nine times during their K-12 years.

"We are greatly encouraged that significant transformation of our education system is well underway with higher standards for students, greater accountability for teachers and principals, and a broader range of innovative approaches that enable students to learn through experiential and project-based programs. In short, quality education is being delivered in more creative and effective ways that are connecting with many students who previously saw little relevance between their studies and the 'real world.'"

Paul Eaton is a retired U.S. Army major general. Bill Center, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, is a former commander of Naval District Puget Sound and is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington's Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.


Disappointed with push to drop Common Core

By Walter H. Cantrell, the Citizen-Times (NC)

May 3, 2014

"I was disappointed to read that some state lawmakers are trying to relax rigorous education standards for North Carolina's students.


"As a retired U.S. Navy admiral, I know how important these standards are for our children's future and our future national security.

"In North Carolina, 17 percent of high school students do not graduate on time and, among those who do graduate and try to join the military, 23 percent cannot pass the military's entrance exam on math, literacy and problem-solving.

"North Carolina's standards address this problem by outlining what students should know at each grade level and also help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are vital for today's high-tech civilian and military workforce.

"It is important to note that the standards do not tell teachers how to teach nor do they specify a curriculum.

"These decisions remain the responsibility of the schools and teachers themselves.

"We must stay the course in implementing higher standards so that our students are prepared for whichever career path they choose, including military service."

Walter H. Cantrell is a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral.


Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit

If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at    


Additional Resources