States nationwide are repealing Common Core standards of education
On July 15th, 2014, Oklahoma officially became the newest state to take part in a new trend: the repealing of Common Core. Widely attacked by the nation's conservatives, the Common Core State Standards were unveiled in 2010, providing a set of standards for English and math curricula nationwide. Unfortunately, many of the standards' largely conservative opponents are badly misinformed about the effectiveness of the program.
These opponents say that as a federal mandate, Common Core is simply a tool of the government to further regulate the public, that it actually lowers standards, and as a whole is not an effective program. But this push by conservatives to repeal Common Core is purely political and has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the program.
Common Core is not a federal mandate but a state-led agreement and it is not part of any government program or initiative. It is the product of discussions between state education departments and private non-profit organizations, with a goal of preparing students for college and later careers by ensuring that everyone learns the same concepts. It was created by looking at the best state standards and feedback from the public, as well as relying on the experience of teachers, content experts, and states. Since widespread implementation of Common Core, high school graduation rates have been higher and remediation costs have been lower. So far, the Common Core standards have not deteriorated our educational curricula. Rather, they have benefited a majority of students nationwide.
Although connected to President Obama's Race to the Top education program (RTTT), the federal government was never involved with Common Core's development. It is important to note that the standards for Common Core were agreed upon before the RTTT program was unveiled. Additionally, Common Core is not implemented through No Child Left Behind (the federal government's educational reform program), as many believe. What the federal government has done is encourage states to adopt the program--since Common Core participation is voluntary—by linking grant funding to the fulfillment of its standards. RTTT includes extra points for states who adopt Common Core; states adopt the program in order to better position themselves to receive grant money. The adoption of Common Core was a voluntary act—45 out of 50 states adopted it—and three states have successfully repealed it. It is clearly not a federal mandate.
Opponents of Common Core think that by holding all states to the same goals, Common Core forces states with high standards to take a step backward. However, since the program began there has been an explicit agreement that no state will lower their standards. The Common Core requirements are based on those of states and counties with top-performing education systems.
When all is said and done, Common Core curriculum is an effective, state-driven effort to increase college and career preparation. The standards have increased high school graduation rates, as well as lowered remediation cost after high school. Aside from the political, there is no legitimate reason to repeal or abandon Common Core standards nationwide.
Nicholas Shereikis. "Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew … More »