Dispelling Common Core Myths
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America’s public K-12 education system isn’t making the grade. It’s not adequately preparing our students to succeed in college or the modern workforce. It’s not delivering the skilled workers that businesses need to drive stronger economic growth. It’s not helping advance America’s ability to compete and lead in the global economy. In short, it’s setting our nation up to fail.
One major answer to this challenge is in our grasp—the Common Core State Standards for K-12. Common Core is a leading effort that was spearheaded by state leaders on both ends of the political spectrum with input from teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts. Common Core is an elevated set of standards—not a curriculum. It focuses on the building blocks of learning, such as reading and math, and is designed to be applicable in the real world—namely, college or career.
One of the key attributes of Common Core is nationwide clarity and consistency. Under our current system, the United States is a patchwork of disparate state standards and uneven expectations. An A in one state may be equivalent to a C in another. But states that opt into Common Core adopt a consistent set of goals that puts them on equal footing. So far, 45 states and the District of Columbia have opted in, which helps provide clarity for students, parents, and teachers across the country.
Here’s what Common Core won’t do: bureaucratize education or centralize authority over our schools. Opponents of the initiative are propagating the falsehood that these standards are a federal takeover of education. Some even suggest it is a top-down effort to indoctrinate students with slanted ideology. This is flat-out wrong. Common Core was created at the state level—where our most innovative policies often originate—by governors and state officials. And no state is required to participate.
Everyone who has a stake—parents, educators, labor, business, and policymakers—must commit to working cooperatively toward our shared goal of strengthening U.S. education. Our future is on the line.