Debunking Nine Common Core Myths

MythvsFact-608x448There are a lot of misconceptions about the Common Core State Standards.  Below are some common myths about the Common Core and facts that should be considered.

Myth #1   Common Core (CC) was a state-led initiative.
Fact
.  The CC standards were initiated by private interests in Washington, DC, without any representation from the states. Eventually the creators realized the need to present a façade of state involvement and therefore enlisted the National Governors Association (NGA) (a trade association that doesn’t include all governors) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), another DC-based trade association. Neither of these groups had a grant of authority from any particular state or states to write the standards. The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve, Inc., a DC-based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as the Gates Foundation.

Myth #2  The federal government is not involved in the Common Core scheme.
Fact
.  The US Department of Education (USED) was deeply involved in the meetings that led to creation of Common Core. Moreover, it has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the two consortia that are creating the national tests that will align with CC.  USED is acting as the enforcer to herd states into the scheme (see next myth).

Myth #3  States that adopted CC did so voluntarily, without federal coercion.
Fact
.  Most states that adopted CC did so to be eligible to compete for federal Race to the Top funding. To have a chance at that money, recession-racked states agreed to adopt the CC standards and the aligned national tests sight unseen. In addition, the Obama Administration tied No Child Left Behind waivers to CC adoption, making it very difficult for a state to obtain a waiver without agreeing to accept CC.

Myth #4  Under Common Core, the states will still control their standards.
Fact
.  A state that adopts CC must accept the standards word for word. It may not change or delete anything, and may allow only a small amount of additional content (which won’t be covered on the national tests).

Myth #5  Common Core is only a set of standards, not curriculum; states will still control their curriculum.
Fact
.  The point of standards is to drive curriculum. Ultimately, all the CC states will be teaching pretty much the same curriculum. In fact, the testing consortia being funded by USED admitted in their grant applications that they would use the money to develop curriculum models.

Myth #6  The Common Core standards are rigorous and will make our children “college-ready.”
Fact
.  Even the Fordham Institute, a proponent of CC, admits that several states had standards superior to CC and that many states had standards at least as good. CC has been described as a “race to the middle.”  And as admitted by one drafter of the CC math standards, CC is designed to prepare students for a nonselective two-year community college, not a four-year university.

The only mathematician on the CC Validation Committee said that the CC math standards will place our students about two years behind their counterparts in high-performing countries. An expert in English education said that CC’s English language arts standards consist of “empty skill sets . . . [that] weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.” She also suspects from her analysis of work done so far on the standards that the reading level deemed sufficient for high-school graduation will be at about the 7th-grade level. And CC revamps the American model of classical education to resemble a European model, which de-emphasizes the study of creative literature and places students on “tracks” (college vs. vocational) at an early age.

Myth #7  The Common Core standards are “internationally benchmarked.”
Fact
.  No information was presented to the Validation Committee to show how CC stacked up against standards of other high-achieving countries. In fact, the CC establishment no longer claims that the standards are “internationally benchmarked” – the website now states that they are “informed by” the standards of other countries. There is no definition of “informed by.”

Myth #8  We need common standards to be able to compare our students’ performance to that of students in other states.
Fact. 
If we want to do that, we already can. In the elementary/middle school years we have the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test; in high school we have the SAT and ACT.

Myth #9  We need common standards to help students who move from state to state.
Fact. 
The percentage of students who fit that description is vanishingly small (much less than 2%); most families move, if at all, within states, not to other states. It is nonsensical to bind our entire education system in a straightjacket to benefit such a small number of students.

From the Stop Common Core:  Reclaiming Local Control in Education website page called Myths Verses Facts.  To download this in a table click here.

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Category: Common Core State Standards

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  1. kimhil says:

    Thank You Ohioans against common core – with your help people have some research to rely on when contacting Governor Kasich’s office and expressing their disgust with common core, and Agneda21 propagandizing children, and attempting to steal a prosperous future from future generations.

  2. Roger Monk says:

    Email I received from Governor Kasich re Common Core after I inquired about it.

    Dear Roger:

    Thank you for your letter regarding Common Core Standards. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

    From Governor Kasich re Common Core

    Dear Roger:

    Thank you for your letter regarding Common Core Standards. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

    Several years ago, the National Governor’s Association began considering ways to increase education standards and align student assessment tests among states. In an effort to better prepare students for college, states came together and began working on new academic content standards that would raise the bar and instill the knowledge desired by many employers and higher education institutions. These standards were largely derived from existing state standards and, in 2007, the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers began circulating a draft of proposed recommendations.

    The Common Core Standards were released nationally for public comment in March 2010. Feedback was gathered online until April 2010. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) hosted five regional meetings across the state during this time. More than 550 educators participated in these meetings.

    Additionally, the State Board of Education held a series of 13 public meetings statewide to further explain this issue. The presentation – Start Ready, Graduate Ready – was recorded and posted on the ODE website, which may be viewed here: http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/News/Start-Ready-Graduate-Ready-presentation .
    The State Board of Education approved these standards in June 2010.

    While the Common Core Standards were implemented before I took office, I support creating a rigorous learning environment where our students can gain the skills they need to be successful and get a job. Additionally, it is important to note that the curriculum for schools is ultimately decided by the local school district, not the state or federal government. Also, no state is required to adopt the Common Core Standards.

    With regard to data collection, the state does not currently and has no plans for sharing personally identifiable student data with the federal government. None of the student level data listed – family income, religious affiliation, parents’ education level and biometric data (fingerprints, DNA, etc.) – are even on the table for consideration of sharing with the federal government. In fact, Ohio is one of two states that does not permit the State Department of Education to collect students’ or parents’ personal information such as names or addresses.

    I encourage you to visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website (www.ode.state.oh.us) to review all of the academic content standards yourself, which are much more rigorous than our current 10-year-old Academic Content Standards.

    If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office or the Ohio Department of Education at (614) 995-1545. Thank you.

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