The opinion pages of newspapers are still filled with pieces on the Common Core State Standards. Here are some recent headlines that have appeared with links and excerpts from editorial boards and columnists from around the U.S. Also, a letter to the editor is included in this volume.
By Michael Gerson, The Washington Post
May 20, 2013
“This is mostly a projection of baseless political fears. The Common Core standards are actually an attempt by governors - including many conservative, Republican governors - to set some coherent standards on what children should know about math and English by various grade levels. It emphasizes analytic reasoning and the interpretation of ‘informational texts,’ including historical documents such as the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.”
“Higher standards are only potentially helpful. But low standards are uniformly destructive. And the Common Core generally raises standards. The approach was crafted by states. It is voluntary. It provides some common metrics to compare the performance of schools and districts across the country. And if this is a conspiracy against limited government, it has somehow managed to recruit former governors Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush, current governors Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A plot this vast is either diabolical or imaginary.”
By The Times-Tribune (PA) Editorial Board May 20, 2013
“Thousands of high school seniors throughout Pennsylvania are about to have the common experience of receiving a high school diploma. That doesn't mean, however, that their diplomas have common value.
“And according to state statistics, about 43 percent of Luzerne County graduates and 32 percent of those in Lackawanna County won't be proficient in math or science, or both. Of graduates attending college, more than a third will have to take remedial courses in one or more subjects in order to qualify for college-level courses.
“Despite the vast disparities in quality of public education and the unnecessary remedial costs for graduates to achieve mere proficiency, the Pennsylvania Board of Education's decision to adopt ‘Common Core’ standards has become politically controversial.”
“The Common Core defines minimum standards. No district will be precluded from exceeding them, and curriculum still will be determined at the school district level.”
Don’t mess with school standards in Kansas
By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board May 20, 2013
“Contrary to what critics are saying, the Common Core standards are not a move by the federal government to dictate what children learn in school. They are the result of an initiative begun by the National Governors Association, which wanted to raise standards and make schools and students more competitive in a high-tech economy. States and local school districts decide on curricula to use to meet the standards.
“Adoption of the Common Core is voluntary and initially even conservative Republican governors were eager to join. But the initiative has been sucked into the right-wing paranoia vortex, which unfortunately holds great sway for Republican-controlled state legislatures. Belated revolts are popping up in Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere.”
OUR VIEW - Putting the common Core in perspective
By The Holland Sentinel (MI) Editorial Board May 19, 2013
“The Common Core is not ideological. It’s about skills, not beliefs. It doesn’t require children to be indoctrinated in climate science, nor does it subordinate the realities of American history to some politically correct philosophy. Certainly you can look around and find some teacher somewhere engaged in some bonehead classroom exercise, like making students role-play as slaves and masters or requiring them to write some anti-American or anti-conservative argument. Classroom mistakes like that predate Common Core and will no doubt recur, but not because of the Common Core.”
Common core standards are important for Louisiana students: Letter to the Editor from Janet W. Bean , The Times Picayune (LA) May 18, 2013
“Participation is voluntary, and there is no mandatory curriculum. States are free to develop their own approaches to achieve these standards. “Louisiana is to be commended for choosing to participate in Common Core State Standards. These standards will test critical thinking and analytical skills, which are necessary for competing for 21st century jobs and entrance to college. There is no doubt that implementing the standard will be challenging for both teachers and students, and the state has begun a transition to common core standards in English and math.”
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 .