A lot of misinformation still exists about the Common Core State Standards and the difference between education standards and curriculum. More and more clips are appearing that correct the myths and help explain what the standards are and how local educators will decide how to teach them. Teachers, local education leaders and legislators are stepping up to set the record straight.
By David Wood, WHNT-TV (AL)
May 16, 2013
“Madison City Schools Director of Secondary Instruction Camille Wright says Common Core is simply a set of core standards set forth for each state to provide a consistent progression of content for kindergarten to 12th grade.
“’So the standards are really just objectives about what we are going to teach, it’s not about content,’ Wright explains. ‘So there’s really nothing in the Common Core itself that someone could find objection to, now, maybe the way it’s being used or some other reason people might find objection to but the Common Core standards themselves are nothing more than a set of objectives.’
“Wright says some may fear Common Core is some sort of federal edict from on high that relinquished curriculum control from local educators, when in fact, she says 85% of the Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards are composed of Common Core standards while the other 15% are a result of direct decisions by state and district educators.
“’The benefit of this to places like Madison City is because we do have a transient population when a student moves here from Virginia, for example, if they are teaching the same progression of skills then we know when they come to us for 8th grade math, we know what they already have,’ says Wright.”
By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch
May 15, 2013
“’I have never heard a single teacher ... in one of the most conservative counties in the state of Ohio, that there is a single standard they disagree with, is improper or their students shouldn’t be learning,’ he told a panel of lawmakers yesterday.
“A recent swell of Common Core criticism in conservative circles has some Ohioans peppering state legislators with requests to eliminate the standards. Rep. Gerald Stebelton, R-Lancaster, the chairman of the committee, called an informational hearing yesterday to ease concerns.
“’We get a lot of bizarre emails about what is required,’ Stebelton said.
“The former school board member in Lancaster said he has been ‘very surprised’ by some of the criticism and misinformation. ‘Most of it is coming from people who haven’t bothered to really ask any questions about the reality of what’s going on and how we’ve arrived at this or really examine the Common Core standards.’”
By Donna Lynne, The Denver Post
May 15, 2013
“Colorado has adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math as part of its Colorado Academic Standards. These state-developed standards, adopted by 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense, outline rigorous expectations for what all students should know and be able to do.
“They incorporate the best and highest of previous state standards in the U.S. and are internationally benchmarked to the top performing nations around the world. The standards provide students, parents and teachers with a shared, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn at every grade level and in each subject.”
“To bring jobs back to America and create new ones, we need to make full use of the Common Core State Standards, as they will bolster our students' achievement and the quality of our future employees. The future of America will be determined by the strength of our economy, an economy where success will be predicated on a highly educated workforce prepared to excel and lead the industries and technologies of tomorrow.”
By Sherry L. Copeland, Southeast Missourian
May 12, 2013
“I feel a good common-sense approach to education to help prepare our students for a global society is being undermined by conspiracy theorists, anti-public school groups, political extremists and otherwise uninformed groups.
“My calming factor was reading an article by conservative radio host Phil Valentine titled Common Core -- Good or Evil. His thoughtful analysis of Common Core takes the emotion out of a very emotional topic. Valentine explained Common Core as follows: ‘Common Core appears to be what the name implies; a common core of knowledge that the states can agree on to prepare students for college, if the student so chooses, or for a career after high school. How the schools impart that knowledge is largely left to them and the curriculum and materials are left exclusively to them.’”
Because the previous excerpt linked to it, here is an excerpt from nationally-syndicated radio host Phil Valentine’s piece from a couple weeks ago, Common Core - Good or Evil By Phil Valentine, Host of the Phil Valentine Show
May 1, 2013
“I have been doing a ton of research on Common Core lately. That's the fairly new initiative on educational standards that has a lot of people upset. To be honest, I must admit that I went into my research looking for reasons to hate Common Core. I was under the impression that the federal government was making a back door attempt to take over education which, constitutionally, should be run by the states and local school boards.
“I expected to find passages in text books stating the founding fathers were a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobes. I expected to find brainwashing material telling our kids the Constitution is too antiquated to be relevant.
“What I found is there are no textbooks at all. There's no propaganda material. Common Core is not a curriculum at all, rather it's a set of basic standards each graduating senior needs to have mastered by graduation. It's not something that was mandated by President Obama. It was commissioned by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Doesn't sound very federal to me.
“I know Obama likes this initiative and is pushing it but he also likes golf. That doesn't make golf bad. We have to drop this notion that just because Obama supports something it must be sinister. He's been killing terrorists, including bin Laden. There are times when the man actually gets things right.
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 www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core. If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at firstname.lastname@example.org.