Opponents of the Common Core have stepped up their efforts to spread misinformation about what the standards entail, the development of the standards and the supposed political implications of standards adoption and implementation. Education Stakeholders across the nation are combating these untruths with the facts and realities of why the standards are so crucial to student success. Here is what they have to say in their own words.
Don't be afraid of the Common Core Standards
By Vincent Genareo, The Grand Forks Herald (ND) September 11, 2013
"The standards are not scary.
"Instead, they simply are national K-12 standards in math and language arts, and they're designed to provide some clarity and continuity across grade levels and promote college and career readiness.
"They were developed so that teachers of all ages can build upon prior knowledge and work toward achieving long-term graduation goals.
"And something happened that rarely happens in education: Teachers were involved in the standards' decision-making processes. Imagine that! "The population influx from the oil boom is bringing children to North Dakota's school systems from across the country, and many of them are academically behind their peers. The goal of the Common Core Standards is that soon, students will be able move to or away from North Dakota without having to cope with a vastly different curriculum level in math or language arts (the way I had to do in sixth grade.) "Having some basic national standards is good for students, good for teachers and good for our state."
Common Core detractors misinformed
By Ron Eachus, The Statesman Journal (OR) September 10, 2013
"This lack of awareness is ready made for the tea partiers to fill the void with misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric, calling the new, higher standards, "ObamaCore" and railing against a federal takeover of local public schools.
"Yet Common Core had its roots in state governorships and school officials and state participation is voluntary; they can adopt their own standards if they wish. And the standards weren't written or approved by the federal government. They were written by researchers and academic experts and vetted by teacher organizations, public school officials and other education academicians.
"Standards, assessment and teaching techniques are debatable wars without end in the education community. But the tenor of these debates is quite different than that of the tea party activists who have managed to make rejection of these higher standards another test of Republican purity.
"Not all Republicans, of course, oppose Common Core. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush defends them and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie calls the tea party opposition a "knee-jerk" reaction to Obama's support."
By Charlie Harper, CL Atlanta August 29, 2013
"The opposition toward Common Core has swelled this year as some movement conservatives decided to wage war against the national standards. Glenn Beck appears to have originated the hard right's stance by labeling Common Core as an indoctrination "with extreme leftist ideology." The message spread, often through different social media networks, and contained misinformation and incomplete facts rather than objective analysis or critique.
"The tests would have been administered using computers, minimizing the chances for widespread tampering like what happened with Atlanta Public Schools' cheating scandal four years ago. With an automated test, both parents and teachers would receive real-time feedback multiple times each year. The assessment avoids multiple-choice questions, and according to supporters, is better able to evaluate individual students rather than a grade midpoint. In short, there could have been a vast improvement from the mind-numbing bubble sheet tests where results return too late for the teachers to react to, or even care about, the results.
"Georgia must focus on competing for more employers who can bring 21st-century jobs to the state. To attract these employers, we must work toward improving our long-suffering public school rankings. This battle isn't about short-term political maneuvering. It's about the next generation of Georgia's students, and in a larger sense, the companies who will or won't employ them in the years to come."
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.