Now, after lauding Common Core’s benefits, Common Core supporters are scrambling to justify the oft-maligned education standards. At the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, UConn education professor Jonathan Plucker criticized school districts for using the standards in order to cut funding for gifted and advanced student education.
In his research, he noted, “We found plenty of evidence that many districts are using the implementation of the Common Core to cut services for advanced students,” and cited “four to five press releases” and articles to support this claim. But, instead of blaming Common Core, Plucker blamed its supporters. He said, “The justification is, well, we got the Common Core now, we don’t need anything else. That is worrisome, to say the least.”
Instead, “Common Core was really meant to be a floor, not a ceiling,” and Plucker quoted sections of the English Common Core standards to support his claim. He said, “I can’t say it much more plainly than that. The Common Core is a set of grade level standards.” Plucker concluded that “If you have the Common Core, it’s going to work well with well-above or well-below grade level students” and not the gifted or advanced learners. He admitted, “That’s frustrating, but we have to be realistic.”
Plucker concluded, “Academic excellence, has traditionally, has not been a focus of American education, period.” The all-too common refrain of Common Core supporters, he said, is that “it’s going to make things better.” But, he disagreed and said, “Things have never really been good in this country in terms of advanced performing students.” He added, “It’s not that we were starting from a position of strength before the Common Core came in.”