Five Myths About The Common Core

Career College Central summary:

  • The Common Core State Standards, which spell out what K-12 students should learn in school, are at the center of a heated debate: Who should control public education? What do students really need to know? Let’s separate fact from fiction.
  • 1. The Common Core is a federal takeover of public education that imposes a national curriculum. It isn’t and it doesn’t — though it has substantial support from the Obama administration, verging on coercion.
  • 2. Opposition to the Common Core is coming primarily from the tea party and white suburban moms. The reality is that resistance to the Common Core is coming from every political direction. On the right, the tea party has indeed been vocal. Though the Core has support from the likes of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, conservative Republicans have mounted a sustained attack. On the left, Diane Ravitch , the most vocal critic of school reforms that focus on standardization, has suggested that federal promotion of the Common Core “may well have been illegal.”
  • 3. Common Core tests will be more advanced than current assessments. The tests scheduled to roll out next school year won’t be the huge leap forward that supporters had hoped. An independent panel of education leaders determined that there wasn’t enough time or money to create groundbreaking exams.
  • 4. The Common Core demands that teachers toss out Shakespeare.  How much literature English teachers teach was one of the big education controversies of the year. Reflecting concern that U.S. students can’t adequately read and analyze complex studies, reports and primary documents, the Core’s English standards require that nonfiction texts represent 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, growing to 70 percent by Grade 12. But the Core authors clarified that the requirement applies to reading assignments across all courses — not that a single English class had to have the 70-30 ratio.
  • 5. New Core tests will save taxpayers money. Some advocates claim that districts can develop Common Core tests cheaply. For example, the national advocacy group Parents for Public Schools said: “Common Core State Standards will cause states to save money on creating and scoring tests. Since all states that adopt [them] will use the same standards, they can also share on the development.”

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THE WASHINGTON POST

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