Common Core: It Lives!

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Opposition to the Common Core education reform efforts of the Obama Administration has crossed political lines to a remarkable degree. For example, rarely are Accuracy in Academia and the American Association of University Professors united in opposing anything.

“The implementation of these changes has been a train wreck in far too many districts,” Betty Weller, of the Maryland State Teachers Association said on WBAL-TV.

Nevertheless, although CC is still in its embryonic stages, the program has already become entrenched. “If the Indiana experience is any indication, dropping or modifying Common Core in states that adopted it is easier said than done,” Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation writes. “Although the Indiana General Assembly paused implementation of the Standards and formed a legislative committee to examine them, the twelve members of the bipartisan committee were unable to come to a consensus about Common Core.”

“In one instance, a resolution to drop Common Core Standards did not receive a majority of votes because five of the six Democratic representatives on the committee boycotted the meeting.”

North Carolina, where the Locke Foundation is based, has already adopted the CC standards. Dr. Stoops suggests that “To move beyond the current Common Core Standards, the state must choose one of four options:

1. “The state could jettison Common Core immediately and charge NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to begin the process of developing an alternative set of English language arts and mathematics standards from scratch.

“Unfortunately, the process of finding an alternative would likely require North Carolina’s public schools to go without standards, and therefore accountability, for multiple school years. As mentioned above, many of the same people and organizations that called for immediately scrapping Common Core have also railed against the mediocrity of their state’s standards, curricula, and tests. For states like North Carolina, for example, Common Core is an improvement over standards formulated previously by NC DPI. Resuscitating the state’s former educational program would be a step in the wrong direction.

2. “The state could also add 15 percent to the Standards as permitted by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association.

“While it is tempting to think of the “15 percent rule” as a way to reclaim ownership of the Standards, the costs of modifying such a small share may outweigh any benefits.

3. “The third option is to ignore the Standards.

“Given that educational standards establish expectations for all North Carolina students, it is not feasible to simply pretend that they do not exist.

4. “The final alternative is to keep the Common Core Standards in place temporarily and create an independent review commission that either modifies Common Core or adopts an alternative.”