Don't let politics block the Common Core

Friday, October 17, 2014Printer-friendly version

The Common Core State Standards were created with the intention of increasing college and career readiness for all students in the United States. Too often, politics and rhetoric drown out the standards' true purpose. These voices supporting higher standards argue that we need to keep politics out of the implementation of the Common Core so that all students can have the opportunities for educational excellence that they deserve.


Don't let politics block the Common Core

By Bill Richardson, USA Today

October 15, 2014

"I'm no stranger to the full-contact sport of politics. But to this day, it still irks me to see how easily a thoughtful and painstaking approach to fixing real problems can be hijacked by shortsighted, sometimes cynical decisions made for nothing more than political gain."


"The remedy to this country's longstanding problem of unequal education is the Common Core state standards. The standards set rigorous goals for what students should know at each grade level, regardless of where they live. That's why it's time for those of us who recognize the Common Core's promise to stand up and be counted."


"There is wide agreement that in the overwhelming majority of states where it is being implemented, the Common Core represents a significant improvement over the education standards they are replacing. And the new, more sophisticated tests aligned to the Common Core will do a better job of measuring student learning and giving teachers the information they need to tailor their teaching to meet the educational needs of individual students in their classrooms.

"These are exactly the kinds of improvements needed to improve the life prospects of so many low-income students of color across the country. Ensuring that these students and their schools and teachers have the support they need as Common Core is implemented can put them on an equal educational footing with their peers and unleash the potential that goes untapped in far too many of our children. Imagine the benefits to the businesses, government, social institutions and the economy of a state like New Mexico if they could draw on more of the energy and understanding that homegrown talent with an excellent education can provide."


Don't let Common Core fears lead to mediocrity

By Michael J. Petrilli and Michael Brickman, The Salt Lake Tribune

September 26, 2014

"...In 2010, dozens of states, Utah included, elected to take the next step on the reform journey by adopting more rigorous, college-and-career-ready standards for their public schools. Rather than hold schools accountable just for getting students over a low bar, indicating minimal literacy and numeracy, Utah now expects its schools to help all of their pupils make progress toward challenging standards connected with student success-meaning a clear path after high school to college or a good paying job." And, "Yet just as Utah is about to reap the rewards of this long planting season and gain some mileage in the journey toward higher expectations, some want to back-pedal. In response to opposition, Gov. Gary Herbert has asked for reviews of the standards and has overseen the creation of a website where constituents can voice their opinions on the issue."


"Legislators and state officials across the country have looked closely at such claims, allegations and anxieties regarding the Common Core, and have found little to fear. Though the standards are being reviewed, teachers are working diligently to help students meet these higher standards. More than forty states are moving ahead today with the Common Core, despite the fuss and furor.

"We hope that is the outcome in Utah. Its educators and students have worked too hard, for too long, to climb the mountain to higher expectations to turn around just as the summit comes into view."


Common Core: a path to success

By Harold Ford, Jr., The Tennessean

October 11, 2014

"At a time when the collective focus should be squarely on doing all we can to make Tennessee students and workers college- and career-ready, the worst kind of politics is at work. A loud and politically motivated chorus is urging Gov. Bill Haslam and the legislature to abandon a set of state-designed and implemented education standards, based on the Common Core, that have helped produce enormous gains in ACT scores among high school juniors.

"Last year alone, Tennessee's fourth- and eighth-graders made the biggest improvements in math and reading in the country. It is hard to quarrel with that. But as of late, opponents across Tennessee of Common Core are not only quarreling, but also distorting the facts."


"Finally, by better equipping students for the workforce - and life - the standards will help reduce costs for remedial education, especially for Tennessee employers. And while the transition to the standards may be challenging, our classrooms have never had the clarity, coherence, depth and academic rigor the Common Core offers. The continued adoption of these standards is the first step in returning our education system to the envy of the world - and in making Tennessee graduates among the best business and workforce leaders in the nation."


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

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