Six Ways the Common Core is Good For Students

BENNETTAs the Common Core debate heats up, we’ve heard a lot from policy makers, politicians, and even TV talk show hosts about the challenges posed by the new standards and whether they’ll help or hurt education. With all the chatter, the voices of the professionals who are actually responsible for implementing the Common Core have been all but drowned out in the mainstream media.

To get their perspective, NEA Today convened a panel of educators from around the country who were attending NEA’s Common Core Working Group in Denver, Colorado – a strategy- and ideas-sharing meeting of education professionals from the 46 states who have adopted Common Core. (Find out more about NEA’s involvement in the Common Core.) They told us there’s a lot of anxiety among educators about the Common Core, and a lot of unanswered questions. How do we best implement them? How do we train more teachers? How do we help students master the new content? And what about testing?

But despite these significant hurdles, the overwhelming consensus of the educators we heard from is that the Common Core will ultimately be good for students and education. Read on for six reasons why.

1. Common Core Puts Creativity Back in the Classroom

“I have problems and hands-on activities that I like my students to experience to help them understand a concept or relationship,” says Cambridge, Massachusetts, high school math teacher Peter Mili. One of his classic activities is taking a rectangular piece of cardboard and asking the students to cut from each corner to make a box. They learn that different sized boxes need different lengths in cuts, and then they fill the boxes with popcorn and measure how much each box can hold.

“I haven’t been able to do that in years because of the push to cover so many things. Time is tight, especially because of all the benchmarks and high-stakes testing,” Mili says. “So I’ve had to put the fun, creative activities aside to work on drill and skill. But the Common Core streamlines content, and with less to cover, I can enrich the experience, which gives my students a greater understanding.”

Mili says a lot of teachers have fun, creative activities stuffed into their closets or desk drawers because they haven’t had the time to use them in the era of NCLB tests and curriculum. He thinks the Common Core will allow those activities to again see the light of day. That’s because the Common Core State Standards are just that — standards and not a prescribed curriculum. They may tell educators what students should be able to do by the end of a grade or course, but it’s up to the educators to figure out how to deliver the instruction.

2. Common Core Gives Students a Deep Dive

When students can explore a concept and really immerse themselves in that content, they emerge with a full understanding that lasts well beyond testing season, says Kisha Davis-Caldwell, a fourth-grade teacher at a Maryland Title 1 elementary school.

“I’ve been faced with the challenge of having to teach roughly 100 math topics over the course of a single year,” says Davis-Caldwell. “The Common Core takes this smorgasbord of topics and removes things from the plate, allowing me to focus on key topics we know will form a clear and a consistent foundation for students.”

Davis-Caldwell’s students used to skim the surface of most mathematical topics, working on them for just a day or two before moving on to the next, whether they’d mastered the first concept or not.

“Students would go to the next concept frustrated, losing confidence and losing ground in the long haul,” she says. “The Common Core allows students to stay on a topic and not only dive deeply into it, but also be able to understand and apply the knowledge to everyday life.”

3. Common Core Ratchets up Rigor

The CCSS requires students to take part in their learning and to think more critically about content, as opposed to simply regurgitating back what their teachers feed them, says Kathy Powers, who teaches fifth- and sixth-grade English Language Arts in Conway, Arkansas.

One way Powers says the standards ratchet up the rigor is by requiring more nonfiction texts to be included in lessons on works of fiction, and vice versa.

She uses Abraham Lincoln as an example.

A lesson could start with “O Captain! My Captain!”, the extended metaphor poem written by Walt Whitman about the death of Lincoln, and incorporate the historical novel Assassin, which includes a fictional character in the plot. Then she’d follow that with the nonfiction work, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, and have students also look at newspaper clippings from the time.

“Or if we’re working on narrative writing, I can have them read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and ask them not to just absorb the story, but also to evaluate C.S. Lewis as a writer, and then to try to write a piece of narrative in the style of C.S. Lewis,” she says. “In the past we’d ask them to simply write a story. But this requires more critical thinking, and this kind of increased rigor will make students more competitive on a global level.”

4. Common Core is Collaborative

The Common Core allows educators to take ownership of the curriculum — it puts it back into the hands of teachers, who know what information is best for students and how best to deliver that information.

“Not only does it integrate instruction with other disciplines, like English and social studies, or literacy, math, and science, the common standards will allow us to crowd source our knowledge and experience,” says Kathy Powers of Arkansas.

Kisha Davis-Caldwell agrees. “The Common Core will create opportunities to share resources and create common resources,” she says. “We can discuss what isn’t working and use our voices collectively. That way we can all be part of the conversation about assessment of teaching, learning, and the standards themselves.”

Peter Mili says the key word to focus on is “common.” He believes there is far too much academic variability from state to state and not enough collaboration. With the Common Core State Standards, “the good things that may be happening in Alabama can be shared and found useful to educators in Arizona because they are working on the same topics.”

5. Common Core Advances Equity

Cheryl Mosier, an Earth Science teacher from Colorado, says she’s most excited about the Common Core because it’ll be a challenge for all students, not just the high achieving students, which Mosier and her colleagues say will go a long way to closing achievement and opportunity gaps for poor and minority children. If students from all parts of the country — affluent, rural, low-income or urban — are being held to the same rigorous standards, it promotes equity in the quality of education and the level of achievement gained.

“With the Common Core, we’re not going to have pockets of really high performing kids in one area compared to another area where kids aren’t working on the same level,” she says “Everybody is going to have a high bar to meet, but it’s a bar that can be met with support from – and for — all teachers.”

Davis-Caldwell’s Title 1 school is in a Washington, D.C., suburb. In the D.C. metro area, like in other areas in and around our nation’s cities, there is a high rate of mobility among the poorest residents. Students regularly move from town to town, county to county, or even state to state – often in the middle of the school year.

There has been no alignment from state to state on what’s being taught, so when a fourth-grade student learning geometry and fractions in the first quarter of the school year suddenly moves to Kansas in the second quarter, he may have entirely different lessons to learn and be tested on.

It also helps teachers better serve their students, says Davis-Caldwell. When teachers in one grade level focus consistently and comprehensively on the most critical and fundamental concepts, their students move on to the next grade level able to build on that solid foundation rather than reviewing what should have been learned in the previous grade.

6. Common Core Gets Kids College Ready

“One of the broad goals is that the increased rigor of the Common Core will help everyone become college and/or career ready,” says Peter Mili. Preparing kids for college and careers will appeal widely to parents and the community, especially in a struggling economy where only 31 percent of eleventh graders were considered “college ready,” according to a recent ACT study.

If a student who was taught how to think critically and how to read texts for information and analysis can explain the premise behind a mathematical thesis, she’ll have options and opportunities, Mili says. Students with that kind of education will be able to decide what kind of career path to follow or whether they want to attend a university or any kind of school because they were prepared to do a higher level of work that is expected in our society and our economy.

Student success is the outcome every education professional works so tirelessly toward, and the Common Core will help them get there if it’s implemented well, according to the panel of educators.

“Yes, it’s an extra workload as a teacher, and it’s difficult…but it’s for the betterment of the students,” says Davis-Caldwell. “And if we keep that our focus, I don’t see why we can’t be successful.”

Related Post:
Ten Things You Should Know About the Common Core

NEA President Van Roekel: We Need a Course Correction on Common Core

Find Common Core resources on NEA Today’s Pinterest Board and at

  • Paul Durham

    Lots of nice words here. Just words. I need to see all of this in action. I need to see how all of this will be graded. It sounds like a lot of the grades will have to come from “judgement” of the teacher. How does this fit in with high stakes testing?
    I am really surprised NEA backs Common Core knowing that it is a vast experiment. No place, no where, at any time has used common core before states adopted it. Where is the research on common core? Where is the “agreement” on what each component means? AND where are the main architects of this “curriculum”? Why are they no where to be found? Shouldn’t they be going from state to state to advise on what it all means by breaking it all down?
    I dont mind a concept like common core. BUT how will it work with all states interpreting it differently?
    I just hope its all worked out before we graduate the guinea pigs well call our present students.

  • Chris Champion

    I echo Paul’s concern. The article even mentions the narrowing of curricula – or at least that which will be tested. When funding and teacher evaluations are tied to CCSS-based evaluation, narrowing of what is “required” can lead to narrowing of what is taught. While this isn’t as likely to happen at schools with affluent students (and good test scores), there is no doubt in my mind that schools already “failing” will eliminate all but the “core”, producing students as rounded as the sheet of paper they take the test on.

  • Mario Minichino

    One of the fallacies being put forth by advocates of common core is that teachers will have an easier time teaching fewer topics. The content that will need to be taught in the classroom will undoubtedly be driven by the assessment vehicles adopted by the various states. Since PARCC and SBAC are creating assessment vehicles to determine the effectiveness of student achievement, teachers will quickly revert to “teaching to the test” in order to maintain their own evaluation and pass rates. Make no mistake about CCSSI, it is an ill-conceived, rapidly constructed, standardization of content that will be driven by assessment.

    As for the voluntary adoption, again that is a myth since requirements for RTTT grants required adoption of an internationally recognized curriculum. Surprisingly the only one available at the time was CCSSI, a hastily concocted assemblage of standards by David Coleman and Achieve Inc. CCSSI is not as presented, the work of a vast sector of educators, but the work of Achieve and the now head of the College Board. While teachers and teacher educators were consulted during the construction phase, the standards were developed and released without a full vetting or an open comment period. Despite as Paul correctly stated above, that there are no research studies extant that examine the effect of these core standards on student achievement, we are rushing forward to implement them regardless of their effect. Wholesale adoption of untried standards imposed upon students with no prior exposure and teachers trained under different pedagogic concepts makes little sense. If, and only if, the adoption of the standards will help students be better prepared for college and careers, and this can be definitively proven to be statistically significantly different than existing models, should we even think about adopting CCSSI. Even then it should be done incrementally and with full training of both in-service and pre-service teachers, a pilot study to examine the efficacy of the standards, and reexamination of the standards and assessment vehicles before, as Diane Ravitch said, we make guinea pigs out of our students.

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  • Susan Keeney

    Teachers from around the country DO NOT agree, NEA! The other commentators above have touched on many of the fallacies and PC rhetoric that NEA has printed in this article.

    The bullet point on “equity” touches on one of the few good ideas of Common Core — that there will be more consistency in what is taught across the nation. But this is not the important sort of “equity”.

    The only kind of equity that will truly help our poor and disadvantaged students isn’t tweaking the curriculum with Common Core. Our nation needs to think about supporting children, families and schools in meaningful and equitable ways, like so many other developed nations routinely do. Equitable access to things like health care, mental health services, day-care, pre-school are all essential for families and children to thrive. Qualified nurses, counsellors, librarians and custodians should be available at all schools. Class sizes need to be reasonable so that all children’s needs can be met. Every child should have a clean, usable desk, access to a computer, and a clean bathroom to go to. Every child should have all the school supplies needed. That would be the kind of “equity” that would bring real change in our country’s educational results. Support children, support families, and support schools.

    As an example of this, Finland started to focus on this type of equity several decades ago. And what happened? Academic excellence, amongst other things. America is heading down the wrong road with Common Core, and I’m shocked that the NEA seems to support it.

  • I agree with Paul. It sounds like one big experiment that could go either way, like so many educational experiments before it. I love the jargon, though!

  • K Laufer

    I would like to see folks recognize the negative affects of the common core on special education students, particularly those with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities (IQ range 70-55). Their curriculum has changed radically away from functional/useful. Students have great difficulty processing, remembering, sequencing and understanding abstract concepts, such as the quadratic functions and geometric sequences in the common core. When faced with mixed problems in different formats, and word problems, the students struggle and feel ashamed. It is wrong to make them endure this curriculum’s assessments in their current form. It needs to be modified to allow these students to be successful, even if that means only changing their tests, not the content of the curriculum.

  • Heidi

    I agree with much that has been state. I reviewed this article to see if something could help me change my mind but after a year of teaching the mathematics core at a high school it is so weak. And once concepts become abstract the hands on doesn’t work. And I doubt that any assessment will ever give students a cardboard sheet and ask them to find the dimensions to maximize the volume. Also is this way of teaching going to be the way college professor’s teach. My understand is that high school is for most students to prepare them for some future education. So David Coleman and collegues have some work to do to get it into university curriculum.

  • Carol

    This is just another reason why our enrollment is down and home school co-op enrollment is going up quickly.

  • Jacques Francois

    Sorry NEA, you are totally disconnected with how most “in the trench” teachers” view the CCSS. The posters above have given a few details of the criticisms we have.

    Your continuous cheerleading for the “master narratives” of Duncan, Gates, Bloomberg, et al, and their corporate driven “ed-reform” policies make your goals as a supposedly non-partisan, educational news clearinghouse and resource, suspect to say the least.

  • Karen

    This article was a classic piece of edubabble! There is nothing good about this “new and improved” way to continue the dumbing down of American education. I am retired from education, and I’ve always been a huge proponent of public education, but if I had children of school age today, I’d send them to private school or home school them to save them from this type of education. The NEA is not working for anything other than union dues.

  • joe koniushesky

    i can’t believe the nea is supporting he common core of b.s…i am very disappoined with their liberal socialistic ideas.if i were not retired i would look to withdraw and look elsewhere.our state affiliate (ct.) is no better. they need to start listening to their constituents.

  • David Kalach

    I disappointed in the NEA’s position regarding the common core. The common core will promote high stakes testing that is leading to more corporate influence in education. It is narrowing the curriculum across the country and allowing corporate types like Gates, Bloomberg, Broad, and others highjack public education. The NEA should come out strongly against Obama and Duncan’s educational program. Its time to stand up for students and teachers across the country. Race to the Top is worse the NCLB.

  • Karen Hamstrom

    Exactly, lots of nice words but where is the money to back it up? We’re still using dumbed down Language Arts curriculum materials applicable to the old California standards due to budgetary constraints. Our math books are falling apart. No new adoptions are on the horizon. Since our curriculum is so out of date teachers are being told that THEY will have to write curriculum based on Common Core standards. Since when are teachers being paid to teach AND write curriculum? As an elementary teacher, how many curriculums will I have to write? Reading, writing, math, science, social studies? Common Core is like everything else from the federal government, a mandate with no money to support it.

  • Every discipline should be in the process of establishing such standards.

  • Dawn Tonneman

    My question regarding common core is what about the Gifted students? Increasing the rigor for everyone with the idea of creating educational equality not only hurts students with disabilities, it also hurts the gifted students. Have we come up with a way to engage these children, or is this going to be left up to the individual teachers to differentiate appropriatly to meet their needs as well? I truly wonder if Common Core will be everything it was dreamt up to be.

  • VBall

    My assistant superintendent came in last week for our staff meeting to give us a little insight to this new common core mania and this final “product” they want is for us teachers to assess all of our students as if they were all honors or AP students. I worry a lot for my lower kids who needs things to be simplified because I know they will just give up if they have to read a problem with many terminologies, apply what they learned, and draw a valid conclusion by explaining with reasoning. My A.S. finished off with a statment, “This is an exciting time to be in education”. I’m not sure everybody at the meeting agreed.

  • K Klein

    I am an NEA/NYSUT member and I could not be more angry at this sellout of our profession and our children/students.


    Although I guess the ultimate result will just be a bunch of “toadies” and uninspired teachers left in our classrooms who will just “go along” like the Nazi prison guards and doctors.

    And I don’t use this comparison lightly.

  • Ellen

    I have lost all faith in my union. NEA is a shameless panderer of propaganda and has totally sold out its constituency.

  • Chris

    NEA, you blew it with your choice of political candidates and you are blowing it with this. Before you start saying how teachers are all on board and in support of someone or something, maybe you should poll the members. I have never been asked my thoughts concerning a political candidate or any of the initiatives NEA has supported over the years. Spend some time polling your members and maybe you’ll learn something. Common Core gives all the authority to the Federal Government (and we know what a mess they make of things!) and take it away from the local authorities. I am tired of being told someone in Washington knows what is better for me, my family and my students. Lets get back to making the students the priority and listening to all the teachers in the classroom. Let’s put the responsibility of raising kids back on the parents and let’s teach our kids to take responsibility for their education.

  • J C
  • Jim Lindsey

    THIS is why I am considering dropping out of the NEA, State, and local – You people are as bad as the politicians! By the way, when we are submitting comments, it says “Enter the code shown below” – the code is ABOVE, and the place to enter it is to the left – there is NOTHING below!!

  • Jennifer

    Who benefit$ from Common Core??? Pear$son Publi$shing Company.

    Sorry, I’m not drinking the Common Core Kool-Aid that is being served to the politicians, and forced on our children.

  • J. Marie

    It does it seem to be a dumbing down of our kids. We need a more European format for our schools. They attend half a day on Saturday and Summer vacation is usually on a month. We need to expand the hours our children attend school, keep our classrooms small as well as smaller school districts. No more force passing to get federal monies for the students. And believing every child should be prepped for college is unrealistic. The child with the 50-75 IQ is never going to get in or succeed in college, we need more vocational schools. Also the government should use high tax rates on businesses who use manufacturing outside the US and encourage them to return here to have jobs for the kids who can’t or are not able to go to college.

  • Paul

    24 responses, 23 of them negative. Are you listening, NEA?

  • cospelero

    NEA should be ashamed for its complicity in foisting CCSSI on American schoolchildren and claiming that “teachers support” it. That is a BIG LIE!

  • Sergio Flores

    Who is Cindy Long? Why are her unsubstantiated predictions published by NEA? I hope during the NEA-RA the general assembly demands NEA to stop this unwarranted promotion of CCSS! Not one of the “positives” of the CCSS mentioned in this piece of propaganda can be supported by facts or evidence. Who is responsible in NEA for validating CCSS?

  • TeachWA

    Do we pay union dues to have you represent us or to carry water for Gates and Pearson? It’s time to organize, everyone. Our union has sold us out.

  • One NH Teacher

    Is there any other profession where so many OUTSIDE of the profession have so much sway and impact WITHIN the profession?? We lost rigor and our world standings when we opened the door to these dingbats and wingdings with their perennial latest political, economic, and social agendas and dictates that are destroying the very thing they are claiming to be saving. America’s backbone and future is dependent upon its public education system. Let teachers teach and let supervisors guide them when needed. I don’t know of many teachers in the profession who don’t want absolutely the best for their students and take absolute pride in what they do.

    • Dee Marie

      But….so many do a poor job teaching…You may be teachers, but as a Human Resources professional filling jobs…I can say, we are doing a lousy job, even with the best and brightest, who come with family support. Sorry…teachers….Your not preparing kids for the real world. Common Core is a chance to do that. It’s the employers that are ultimately who you are trying to please! Lest you all forget!

  • Terry Waltz, Ph.D.

    You’re kidding, right? Please tell me it’s April 1 and I’ve overslept.

  • Mr. E

    I am a HS teacher w/ 15 yrs experience trying to implement CC in our class, and I wish that I could agree with all the talking points listed above- I have worked harder as a teacher this year than I can ever remember, and while this can be a good thing, it falls short when I see my colleagues, co-workers, and myself stressed out to the breaking point and experiencing anxiety on levels I have never seen before. Something is very wrong when teachers are crying in the halls, and this is to me the most poignant indicator that the implementation of this new methodology evokes a steamroller rather than the intellectual forethought that supposedly went into it.

    In addition to the CC implementation, we have new evaluation standards, new Prof Dev., and about 3 other major programs going through our system. I have trouble sleeping, cannot seem to stop thinking about school, cannot leave my stress behind, and have noticed that these things are taking a toll on my wife and two kids. Our heads are reeling, and some have rolled.

    I keep thinking of the many mass extinctions that have occurred in our Earth’s history….if you change things too much, too fast, the inhabitants cannot keep up and they become extinct. Is it just sad that we people are doing it to ourselves and our kids.

    I do believe that education needs to change, and see some positive effects of Common Core at my kids grade school level. It just seems like for most of the higher grades, we are putting a new coat of paint on bad wood when we need to fix the structure first.

  • Maria Schrenger

    I hate to sound unkind, but what planet does Cindy Long (the author of this article) live on? I think the common core is absolutely horrible!!!!! I teach first grade (and have been teaching for 22 years). Have you ever read the reading and writing standards for first grade? Most of them are NOT developmentally appropriate at all. Much of the math is beyond ridiculous too! I truly think it’s criminal, a sin and a real shame that we all are supposed to keep trying to “shove information” down little kids’ throats, that they are really not ready for yet. We are causing so much stress in young children. I really believe that we are damaging the emotional development of our young students and making them hate “learning” and hate school. I also think that this is why we are seeing such a rise in serious behavior issues and especially in the young!
    I’ve been a member of NEA for 22 years, but I am extremely disappointed with Dennis Van Roekel (President of NEA) and also of Randi Weingarten (President of the AFT). They have both “sold out” to Arne Duncan and to all who like, want and promote charter schools. They both need to step down. We, the members of NEA and AFT need “fire” both of these charlatans. We need real leadership. This is a horrible time in our culture to be a public school teacher or a public school student. Our current day “educational curriculum” is destroying many of our precious children because we are setting so many students up for failure!!!!

  • Katie Stell

    Grouchy bunch of commenters! I hope my kids don’t ever have any of you for a teacher. I’m perfectly happy implementing common core and like the results I’ve seen so far.

  • cospelero

    “With all the chatter, the voices of the professionals who are actually responsible for implementing the Common Core has been all but drowned out in the mainstream media.”

    The voices HAS been drowned out? Is this supposed to be an educator?

  • Nate

    When is the NEA going to publish the “100’s of Ways the Common Core is Horrible for Education” article?

  • Lucie burns

    Has the NEA been bought?
    I don’t know any teachers supporting CCSS or RttT
    I am glad to be retiring
    Sad for the students and teachers left behind

  • Jim Perkins

    I am discouraged by the NEA pitch but I am also discouraged by colleagues who act as if this is accurately characterized as a partisan and/or ideologic wedge. If we have a hope of finding a common way out of this morass, it is unlikely that it will be accomplished by railing at “socialist”, “AynRandian”, “neo-fascist”, “right-wing/left-wing government-hating anarchists”.

    We who teach and those whom we teach are not widgets. We teach children.

    If we manufacture widgets, we can have quality control by repeated measuring and tweaking of the production line. Each widget is supposed to be as identical as is possible. No widget has a mind to be numbed. No widget is capable of rebelling against the measurement or doing poorly because its parents had a bad night or because it’s hungry. No widget is capable of doing well because it has good genes or a thriving and vibrant home-life. Widgets don’t eat, they don’t have genes, they don’t have homes or parents. Widgets are inert. Each widget is formed as identically as possible.

    A single cohort of the children we teach may have an average value on any measurement, but on every single measurement there is a distribution, usually fairly normal (in the math sense and in the human sense – it’s normal). The Common Core seeks to impose upon every single child the same standard, just as if they were widgets. This is my fundamental objection.

    My practical objection is this: pick any single item on the long list of math standards that must be met. There’s an argument to be had – is this really a meaningful challenge for every single human being who is fourteen years old? We might indeed decide that some particular thing actually is critical, but if we do, then there is an opportunity cost for the decision that “this particular thing” really is critical. It means something else is not as critical.

    In order to teach every single child the graph of y equals the cube root of x, I will have to acknowledge that the time I take for that with a child for whom it is a significant stretch is time I won’t have for something else. (My professional opinion is that anyone who thinks the graph of y equals the cube root of x – in a meaningful context – is not a significant stretch for a significant part of the population is clueless and does not understand the graph of y equals the cube root of x. I am willing to be proved wrong, but I will insist on rigor not rhetoric.)

    I believe that there should be a burden of proof for the entity that asserts that some topic is essential; on the contrary, the things currently on the Common Core list are someone’s whim.

  • Catherine

    I had not realized until seeing this article that the NEA had sold out to Walton, Gates, Pearson and all the others who want to distort and destroy the American public school system. The bigger question is: who is paying them off.

  • Elinor Austen

    What a lot of rubbish! As a high school English teacher, it is quite clear that the CCSS are a roadblock to true creativity and rigor in the classroom. Put it together with cookie-cutter common assessments and broad changes in grading practices and public education is being driven off a cliff by groupthink and fear. Those who love this? People who have spent nary a day in a real classroom, with real kids. Oh, and follow the money; the Gates Foundation and various for-profit educompanies want to pull power from the innovative, individual teacher. Standardization shuts us up.

  • Suzanne

    Where has all this information been for the last 5 years? Curious as to why suddenly word is getting out when parents and children are knee deep in homework that nobody understands. Also curious as to how all these states came up with these standards when they are below what they were teaching before this started. Who would choose lower standards? Also find the money trail not so funny, but of course they have no idea how much this will cost school districts to buy all the computers, connect to WiFi and replace books. Bill Gates is loving all this, helped him get back on the top richest man list….tax payers…who cares about tax payers? How long until we see the affects of this wonderful change? What are the plans for those who fail?

  • Suzanne

    I am also quite sick of the word of the year RIGOR! When did this become such a popular word? Parrots have learned it in CCSS and the Grit report and keep repeating as if that will make it true. The only Rigorous thing is they way this has been done behind the backs of American parents. You notice not many posts about this until the last few months, because they hid it very well. Nobody was excited about this until they have to defend it..Until now it was just a dirty little secret. The word is out now!

  • greg

    I am a teacher in training, MAT, and will graduate in the summer of 2014. I have been taught in the CCSS process and think that it merits at least a positive concerted effort on the part of educators. It is obvious that NCLB was a flop but the one thing that the instructors, and current teachers, that I have talked with agree upon is that the current standards are nowhere nearly high enough. The CCSS would raise what is currently a 5th grade standard to a 3rd grade standard meaning that more will be expected of our students, and yes, our teachers as well. Change is always a hard thing to accept but I for one believe that we must challenge our students to achieve greater things instead of “dumbing down” the curriculum.

  • Bev

    K Laufer (May 15th) is spot on for our students with cognitive disabilities, as well as those with severe behavioral or mental health issues. I teach Art in a small Title One public school for students with behavioral issues; many have moderate to severe cognitive impairment as well. Very few of these students live at home with their bio families; they have been shuffled all over the place due to their challenging management and other needs. Although I make standard curriculum such as classical art as exciting as I can and we do have a lot of fun with it, it is fleeting. Classical art and art studies will never hold their interest or have a meaningful or permanent place in my kids’ lives. Many of my students will require life-long adult care. Hands-on projects with clay, mud, sticks, and building with hand tools, power tools, lengths of lumber, huge miter boxes, etc. definitely capture their attention, so that is what we do, joyfully, creatively, safely, and with great satisfaction and success. I incorporate monthly community outreach and volunteerism into our work. I had to pass the dreaded Praxis Art test to receive my certificate endorsement for all of this. I shudder to consider how CC may attempt to impact, alter, or remove the invaluable differentiated instruction required for students such as mine!

  • Greg

    Wow, just Wow. It appears the NEA doesn’t speak for its members on this issue at all. There is almost a total disdain for this article by every person commenting. Not dis-like, disdain. I have never seen a piece draw this much criticism. As I said in my earlier post, stop drinking the Obummer Kool-Aid and start working for students again.

    • Kelly Lynn

      Well said Greg. Well said.

    • Michael Toso

      The reason for NCLB, CC etc are because of failing schools. I recommend sharing ideas and discussions at all levels of ed. Maybe we could have a POSITIVE influence on ed reform.

    • Michael Toso

      Only those motivated will comment and only the dissatisfied are motivated.

  • Robyn

    Outrageous. How do I get 20 years of union dues back?

  • Sjw

    I agree with all the negative comments. But the article, ironically, suggests a way that teachers can subvert CCSS. Just do your best teaching, the way you’ve always wanted to teach, and for every lesson pull something out of the standards that it addresses. If someone tries to shove a Pearson product down your throat, refuse, saying that the standards don’t say how to teach, just what student goals are. As for the tests, say that you refuse to compromise their integrity by doing test prep. Save this NEA article to prove that you’re supposed to be doing your best teaching, not a.lockstep program. Also, ignore everything David Coleman says because he has no official role or legitimacy.

  • Mike

    This is what a portion of my union dues go toward? Supporting initiatives that harm myself and my colleagues? We have a HIRED consultant running our district in support of the common core initiative. This is draining money away from programs that could use funding.

    How about this idea NEA: push for better funding and a referendum on standardized tests. Support your members in education initiatives that will make a difference for THEIR students. CCSS delves too much into curriculum rather than being the framework that people claim it to be. Different districts need the freedom to address different needs of their students. Common Core doesn’t cut it.

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  • MOt many reforms or histakes tests or individual judgements will have much effect overall when the elephant is still in the room. Until more families and parents raise the value of education at home, we are doomed to a culture that is more and more defined byt the attidude that “I send my kid to school so it is your problem.” Coming from increasingly desperate family financial straits, with no hope of a better or decent life, it is hard to motivate those concerned. The dysfuction, lack of parenting and attitudes with which students come to school set up very strong barriers to gaining their attention for and interest in learning. Public education (and some private) has become the blame place for the students low achievemnet. Drug and alcohol cultulres are producing children with differences, sometimes subtle or sometimes not, as well as other learning and physical differences. Sosme areas may even be in the third or fourth generation of chldren who come from these issues with incomplete or different brain connections. These need to be accounted for and treated as such in order to give the best education to all individuals. But that takes a lot of support from home.
    We need “standards of parenting for school success” to be added to our collection of requirements before we blame or judge any school system or any variety of teachers and techniques and plans and goals to be effective or not.

  • Deborha

    Forget the union.I think we’re going to need corporate lawyers

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  • Laurette O’Keefe

    David Coleman is now the president of Interesting. This company is responsible for putting out the PSAT, the SAT, the ACT, and, soon, the PARRC assessments. Ultimately, high school teachers will be sweating the repercussions of this. Is there another company in the USA that creates these “college admission” tests? No. I’ve heard people call the Common Core socialistic; Its administration may be so, but its profits will go primarily to one company, College Board; therefore, we have a monopoly.

  • Thea Mann

    I agree that the STANDARDS appear to be quite good. But this is not how they are being implemented. States are buying canned curriculum created by Pearson, et al, and forcing teachers into scripted lessons. And the real problem is the increased and increasing emphasis on the almighty test.

    Until we have TESTING reform, no magic bullet standards will ever fix what’s wrong. We will still be forced into teaching to the tests. Just a different tests, more of them, and only 15% different from state to state.

    Education should not be a for-profit cash cow.

    • beav

      As long as the Federal gov’t keeps shelling out billions of discretionary dollars at ‘education,’ the rent seekers will follow those $

  • Jennifer Fatone

    I am a teacher and union rep in NY, and I am disgusted by the NEA’s support for Corporate Core. There is no way of extracting any good from CC’s implementation from the standardized testing that goes along with it. CC is rife with developmentally inappropriate content, and it assumes all students have the same needs, interests, and abilities. CC assumes that the professionals – teachers – cannot discern what their students need. It is a monster that continues to grow with the support of the NEA, which is supposed to support TEACHERS, not the corporate agenda of those who seek to profitize American education.

  • Louisiana Purchase

    I don’t understand how a curriculum with extremely specific lists of things students should learn every year is allowing teachers teach “creatively.” Common Core is sham.

    • Doro

      It’s not as specific as you might think. Students don’t have to do things one way, and one way only. Instead, they’re permitted to use any method they’d like to demonstrate their understanding of a concept, whether that means, for math, using numbers, drawing a diagram, a picture, or writing in words. It reaches students who learn in a variety of ways. Louisiana, huh? No worries, your state will catch up to the rest of the country eventually.

      • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

        Untrue. The books are teaching the common core way of doing math. In most instances, that way is complicated, excessively long, unnecessary, and impractical. It does not allow a student to use the “older & more established” method of solving basic math computation. The tests “require” the common core methods or it is marked as incorrect.

        • Sansvie

          It isn’t a “Common Core method” though. If you go to a Texas classroom where Common Core is banned by state law, you will see exactly the same methods used to teach math. I homeschool my children and have watched these newer methods work where the old ones resulted in lost looks and no progress. Even your “older & more established” methods of solving basic math problems was once billed as “New Math”.

          You point out exactly the issue: “The tests “require” the … methods or it is marked as incorrect.” (I removed the words Common Core since the methods are not strictly Common Core). The tests require a particular method. The standards do not. The people who wrote the tests are the ones who wrote the textbooks and have chosen a particular method to prove skill in the Common Core standards. Their choices may be the ones your school district is held hostage to but it is not the standards themselves that did that. I completely agree that standardized testing, in the form it now takes in the high stakes era, is a poor measure of student knowledge and ability to succeed. Personally, I think much of that should be thrown out. But the fact that the tests and textbooks are awful does not by default make the standards on which they are based equally as bad.

          • beav

            It’s called ‘Discovery Math’ and the ‘educational industrial complex’ driven CC glommed onto it as the ‘way’. I agree with Cindy Haxel Stupavsky.

            FWIW, I have math through Differential equations and prob and stat.

            I look at these math examples as punishingly onerous and do nothing to promote numeracy. It’s highly contrived and practically useless.

            The MA MCAS systems used none of it. MA, as a STATE competed well on the PISA testing. Thanks to the methodology pushed in CC, I can predict a train wreck when these kids compete on any sort of PISA testing.

            Those YEARS are lost forever. How do you people sleep at night? When I hear the logical support for CC being that it is research based (AKA based on nothing but eggheads talking to each other) I want to scream.

          • Sansvie

            Eggheads talking to each other actually do a LOT of work and study to understand how learning works as human’s develop. How exactly do you think we got all of the amazing technological developments we have today? Guys sitting around a TV drinking beer?

            Discovery Math is a very new concept. New Math came before. Discovery Math relies on the idea that children must “discover” mathematical theory on their own with little direction in order to understand it. It completely ignores educational psychology that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that children under middle school age (and often much older) do NOT have well developed enough analytical thinking skills to even accomplish this task. Although a child may appear to have, for instance, grasped how addition and subtraction work in first or second grade, they are actually still working by rote. I focused my Psychology degree on educational psychology and have seen this stuff in action both in the classroom and as a homeschooling parent. I wouldn’t touch Discovery Math as it is usually taught with a ten foot pole.

            In contrast, the methods usually attributed to Common Core, if applied correctly work really, really well. I used a number of these approaches with my children at home and when paired with the methods I was taught in school provide a clear, easily followed track from complete novice to some decent level of solutions production. Yes, the children are still working by rote, but by giving them several ways to solve a problem, you allow them to chose the one that works best for their level of development. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happens in modern classrooms. Districts have continued to push this single method for solving approach that hurts everyone. Of course, they’ve been doing that since again, the mid 1980s when I was in school and fighting tooth and nail to solve my problems in a different, but reliable manner than what the teacher wanted.

            To give you an example, when I taught my older child how to solve a problem like 23 X 14, he could not remember all of the steps. He’s dyslexic and as part of that issue, he has relatively poor working memory. The Common Core text I had on hand taught this skill first by recognizing that 14 = 10 + 4. It went on to point out that you can multiply 23 X 10 (a skill taught in a previous lesson) and 23 X 4 and add the answers together. Instantly, my son caught on to this way of solving the problem. I let him work a few practice problems and then showed him the method I used as a child (the one that involves carrying and such). At first he thought I was nuts but soon, because he hates anything that requires extra steps, asked me to show him again. This is the same kid who uses a shortcut method for long division that is considerably harder but requires less writing. By the end of the day, he was using the method I was more familiar with to solve the problems with ease. Had he instead been able to work the problems just as fast by using the newer method, I wouldn’t have pushed the issue – it worked so why complain if he has to do extra work and it took a smidge longer to complete. Does he really “get” that when he uses the older methods, he’s really doing a shorthand version of the longer, more modern method? Probably not, but do I care as long as he can work the problems? Nope!

            But what I see in story after story is not the process I outlined above. I see case where the child has been forced to use one method or another even when he/she really doesn’t understand one of them. That is the real breakdown for me, not that there is a new method being used to solve problems but that kids and teachers are being limited to the use of a single method. Are there parts of the standard I think are a little weird and developmentally questionable? I’ve seen a couple, but overall the standards are simply not that bad.

          • beav

            The standards stink. For math especially, it ends at a watered down Alg2. If you pass a CC curricula and want to do a STEM subject in college, you’ll need remedial math.

          • Michael Toso

            Simple rejection is not the answer! No solutions are obtained without discussing trade offs and offering improvements. NO solution is perfect as evidenced by politics. But where are the discussions? I thought with the internet I could find some. I AM STILL LOOKING!

          • Michael Toso

            The trigger was “A Nation At Risk”. The findings of failing U.S. ed in 1983 promoted by Reagan. State standards started in 1989 under Bush, testing by NCLB in 2001. All long before CC but it still gets the blame.
            I still see no discussion of the original problem. The need for critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication. I still see little evidence of people understanding the goals, standards, local policy and classroom choices We need parent and teacher involvement in the continued improvement of expectations. Mostly people are too busy with regular duties to be concerned, except when motivated by what they see. Too often there is no motive to understand cause. So only rejection is considered. That has been the trouble with ed reform. No analysis of trade offs, just rejection. I see complaints for lack of public input and involvement but no concern about how to make it happen. Only local issues come from local effort. State or national concerns are rare for public interest.
            That is a brainless approach and is why we fail.

          • Michael Toso

            The problem in not CC, but our failure to engage in what grads need and how to get it. Where are the meaningful discussions? CC was a fix, not the cause of ed failure. Rejection of CC does not fix the problems that continue to exist in local control that “A Nation At Risk” found in 1983. Until we focus on shaping ed instead of blaming we will continue to look silly as the last superpower in the information age with failing ed.

          • FC White


            LOL! The one who smugly lectures everyone on his “educational expertise” would fail this question on the SAT.

            Most educated adults don’t have to be attorneys to know the simple difference between “mute” and “moot”. Pathetic. Now, go mute yourself, moron.

          • Michael Toso

            Your words are muted, I said what I meant.

          • Michael Toso

            Standardized tests have been around a LONG time. A complaint is about multiple choice, but that is a limitation of technology and budget, not CC or preferred choice.

          • Michael Toso

            The problem is people look at the problems, but don’t look for causes. We are that poor at analysis. I don’t see any comments about the goals including critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication. Until we focus on what we need instead of complaining, we deserve what we get.

        • Michael Toso

          The “standard” method is the only one named in CC standards but it is not defined or explained. Do you object when students ignore lessons taught?

      • Kelly Lynn

        “Students don’t have to do things one way, and one way only. Instead, they’re permitted to use any method they’d like to demonstrate their understanding of a concept…” Wow I am just calling Bulls*^t on this statement. It must be done as taught or else it is wrong. That is the standard as explained by teachers, school board members and the Superintendent of Schools here in my section of Florida. So much for your argument. But allow me to aid you just a bit in the witty and sarcastic way you addressed Louisiana Purchase’s comment. This aid comes in the form a history lesson. Ooops for you that would be “Social Studies” or is it “SOCIALIST STUDIES,” hard to tell them apart. But I digress. Here is the lesson for you. “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” Albert Einstein. Oh he didn’t need your Common Core version of math either. Now go forth and have the day you deserve.

        • jendem

          Yep, that is not at all how things are graded.

          • Kelly Lynn

            Maybe not in your school. I ours they are. And it is ridiculous.

          • jendem

            Sorry I wasn’t being clear. I was agreeing with you!

          • Michael Toso

            You are saying that even with CC, there is opportunity to make local choices? And you are blaming CC for those local choices?

          • Michael Toso

            When you leave comments to influence others, you are never done! especially misinformed comments you are determined to represent.

          • Michael Toso

            I have spent thirty years looking into the subject, how about you?

          • Michael Toso

            You give up with no reasonable response. Where is your support for grad needs after graduation? Who was asking what they needed to find jobs or careers before “A Nation At Risk”? Why are those questions forgotten for quest of control instead. Why are you not concerned about how to have control? You let others take it from you? WHY DON’T YOU CARE?

        • Michael Toso

          Why do opponents of CC FAIL to quote from those standards? Always homework created under local control or policy. Why talk about testing or funding that is NOT under CC control? Why do I feel the issue is filled with ignorance?

        • Polyglot1960

          “Socialist studies”… I see what you did there. The irony is, of
          course, that socialist first-world nations are doing much better than Americans are at mathematics and science.

    • Michael Toso

      You think following textbooks is more creative for teachers?

  • Susan Nunes

    Unbelievable Bill Gates has basically bought off NEA and AFT in his quest for the ruination of public education.

    There is NOTHING good about Common Core. Nothing. The United States is too large and too diverse for “national standards.” It’s time to bring back local control of public education and return education back to TEACHERS. The billionaires, Wall Street crooks, and their political hacks need to stay out.

  • Atara

    The NEA does not know what they are talking about here. CCSS will not work. The technology requirements can eat a school’s budget leaving nothing left for professional development the teachers will badly need to be able to implement CCSS properly. This is a big big mess. There are lots of problems with this country’s system of education, but a different curriculum to teach to a different test is not the answer.

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  • KR

    I’m glad for our children first, teachers and nation that true educators that have known forever what is needed are speaking out! The powers that be don’t usually ask true opinions of honest educators (not talking heads for an organization) but our public schools are so ineffective due to years of politicians thinking they know what’s best without including educators or parents,that they recently make such overt and ignorant decisions like Common Core, testing-not teaching, creating a sense that special needs(including mentally challenged, autistic and gifted) and different learning styles do not need to be addressed differently so that we decrease the 70% number of students that are not “college ready” or work ready upon graduation. The four or rather 12 years of school, we tell our children they should just take what ever new trend in public education caves of underfunded, dilapidated buildings with educators that are respected less than dogs that have more rights than we do. The powers that be make sure we do not have time to think and be creative or gather to plan meaningful reforms by inundating us with paperwork, threats of losing pay or your job if testing scores aren’t increased, worries about micromanagement and long irrelevant to students progress meetings that survival to make it day to day is the only focus in able to survive. Absenteeism, disabilities and early retirements are another survival tactic to live a longer life. True educators must band together and fight and not give up for the sake of our children and our own mental health-our passion, “our calling”. We don’t want other careers, we spent time and are in debt for loans for a career we have passion for and it has been taken from us law by law, reform by reform, disrespectful children, lack of parenting at home and educational surveys and testing businesses have gotten rich on the backs of our teachers students and parents that have no idea who and what to believe and trust in that’s best for their child anymore. Charter schools aren’t the answer and parents know it but they can’t wait for public education to get it together at the sacrifice of their children’s future. Charters are a bandage on a hemorrhage and a way to segregate schools to increase the number of permanent underclass that will be the worker bees in poverty for the leaders with power that luckily can transport their children to a school without fights everyday (due to anger and neglect) and focus on those that come to school with a full stomach from breakfast, clear head since they don’t have to worry about mom making enough money to support the family or a dangerous neighborhood which keeps them in the house which increases mental and physical health issues that increase problems in the family. We must address the child holistically and address new millennial problems and not sweep them under the rug because it’s uncomfortable to discuss. Our changing population and culture cannot be ignored without all of us reaping the consequences, now or later, but it’s coming to the privileges’s front door no matter how far they move away…

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  • Ragua

    Um…why am I paying you union dues, again? So you can sell us all down the river to your corporate overlords? You do realize that prostitution is illegal in every state except Nevada, right?

  • I find it very fascinating to hear the various opinions about the Common Core. I, myself, am open to implementing it into my classroom. My district is in the beginning stages of training their teachers. But I have already begun researching the standards to help me become better acquainted with the concept. I even wrote a hilarious early chapter book series to lighten up the tension surrounding the Common Core. The book is titled, Beware of the Common Core. The concept of the book was developed behind the notion of “fear of the unknown” and that the core standards shouldn’t be anything to fear, but embrace. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes Common Core will bring about. It can’t make me a worse teacher, only stronger in my craft as I make it work for me and my students.

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  • Stacy Amador

    Wow. I am really shocked to read this article. The information here is an outright lie. Common Core gives teachers more time to be creative? Common Core puts things back in the hands of teachers? Whoever wrote this doesn’t have a clue. I have seen first hand what Common Core does to a classroom as well as individual students because I have two children in grade school. Common Core has put so much pressure on teachers to get the children ready for the standardized testing that becomes all they have time for. This article is totally backwards. My daughter has said to me that she thinks she is stupid because she just doesn’t get the math. She cries and doesn’t want to go to school anymore. She is a very intelligent child. She brings home math papers with check minuses that have all the answers correct!She failed the test/homework because she didn’t draw the bar models correctly. So it makes no difference if she had the right answers. In addition to Common Core hurting our children mentally/developmentally what about the financial aspect? States were in such a rush to get all of that federal money they didn’t stop to read the fine print!! When Common Core deadlines are up the schools will have to have 1 computer per child which is required for all of the testing that you stated was not required! Companies like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Intel are behind the funding for Common Core! That’s not a conflict of interest or anything! The millions that they have invested will likely be returned 5 fold when every school district across the country has to purchase a computer for each student! I only hope that as Americans and Parents we all decide to at least take the time to research both sides of this and let common sense prevail!

    • Doro

      Strange, the only complaint about CC is about math, a subject that far too many people (and especially, let’s face it, women) don’t understand. The only parents who complain to me about CC also admit that they’re not very good at math. That’s not the fault of CC, that’s the parents’ fault. I’m going to guess your frustration stems from the fact that you don’t understand the math, therefore you can’t help your daughter with it. Your daughter can’t just write down the answers — she must be able to demonstrate that she understands the concepts. I’m sorry that neither she nor you are bright enough to do either, but you can use your freedom to hire a tutor –for both of you.

      • Kelly Lynn

        Okay how about your Social Studies books? Since history is not important after all. We can just repeat the mistakes over and over. You have social studies books that do not even mention Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Two of the most influential voices of the 20th century. Just gone. The Founding Fathers were all slave owning right wing radicals. A whole section on Islam and it so called virtues, I call them something else. Hey how about the so called “Language Arts” what we called READING. Your beloved curriculum demands more and more to the extent that reading is no longer enjoyed, it is a chore to be done and forgotten, like cleaning a bathroom. I might not be great at math. BUT I do not need to find “friendly numbers” to answer the question of 97 – 17. It’s 80 by the way. Thought I’d save you 20 steps and bar graphs and drawing circles and all the other garbage.

        • Sansvie

          You do realize that there are no Common Core standards for Social Studies? There are reading standards that relate to Social Studies, but no actual standards just for the subject. I’m not sure why you are bothering to bring up History text that.

          Besides, you want bad Social Studies/History standards? Check the TEKS for the state of Texas. The standards are so bad that some of the textbooks developed to support them include the biblical Moses as a Founding Father of the United States.

          • Kelly Lynn

            Well I do not argue that our entire system is need of repair. Moses as a Founding Father is a new one. Sort of like George Jefferson I guess. But I do know that a system where all children are treated in a cookie cutter fashion does no good. No one excels? No one fails? Everything is sunshine and rainbows? That is unrealistic. It has no bearing on the real world and in no way prepares our children for it. Imagine their shock when they don’t get a job because they aren’t good enough to do it. Or fail at something and they have to learn then that everyone fails. We are not all common. We are not all saints nor are we sinners and failures. Yes we need to overhaul the system, but not by the hands of greedy billionaires and millionaires making another buck on our children.

          • Sansvie

            But they aren’t making money on this – people like to claim conspiracy in the creating of the CC but the link simply isn’t there. The testing companies and textbook publishers. which are often one and the same, are making money but that doesn’t mean the standards are bad. This is what I have a hard time getting across to people. Lay the blame where it belongs. If you attack the standards without correcting the mess that is the textbook and testing business, then you’ve accomplished nothing. Because even without the CC, who do you think is still going to be directing much of modern education (hint, it’s not the standards).

            I read an article recently that showed that the single best predictor of success on a particular standardized text was not the standards being used, class size, teacher quality, etc. The single best predictor of success on the tests was which textbook the students used to learn. You know why? Because the people who wrote the tests also wrote the textbooks. Think on that for a moment and then tell me who needs to be attacked for their actions.

          • Kelly Lynn

            First, I applaud you for being one of the most level headed people I have seen is this debate. Too many merely scream and rant at one another without ever showing any evidence of their case. Okay so they wrote lousy text books placing Moses as a Founding Father, and we should be okay with allowing them to write the test too? Next we can career criminals sit on each others jury? The standards are bad if we have kids being told they are wrong, because the standard says they MUST draw a certain line in a certain way and anything else is unacceptable. If they get the right answer, and know how they arrived at it, then who cares if they drew the line or not? The idea is ludicrous at level of unimaginable proportions. And if one looks at the companies, like Pearson Publishing, and follows the money, it does indeed lead back to Gates and Company. He himself admitted his hand in this travesty. . But alas the number of teachers who oppose this curriculum MUST tell us something. If a change is going to happen then yes, we MUST change the ways the books are written. Teach facts, no fallacy or fantasy. Teach math as it has always been, factual since after all 2+2=4 no matter what standard, and aid those who struggle. Not hold back the ones who excel. Teach history, including that of this nation with it’s warts and all. Be honest about our failures. Teach a love of reading for the sake of reading. Not make it a chore to be slogged through, like surviving a Soviet work camp. We spend little to no time teaching respect and dignity in any curriculum. That is OUR fault as parents, teachers and as adults.

          • Sansvie

            That’s the point. The standards are NOT telling students they must draw a line in a certain way. The textbooks and tests are telling the kids this. And no, math has not always been taught the same way. I don’t know your age, but if you are close to my age or younger (38), then you were taught using what used to be called “New Math”. The method where you “borrow” or “regroup” to do the problem 23 – 8? Yeah, that’s a newer method than what my mother was taught back in the late 50s.

            And if you take a basic education course on reading, they emphasize not making reading a chore. Education professionals do, for the most part, know what they are doing and when lucky are allowed to actually do it. But schools have been making reading a chore since at least the mid 80s. Did you ever have to complete those stupid SRA boxes or write book reports that simply summarized a text instead of actually allowing a kid to just read for fun?

            In the case of Texas, the Social Studies standards are actually so bad that there were few ways to write a textbook that wasn’t equally as awful. I’ve seen the analysis of the information and read the TEKS (the name for Texas standards) and they are pretty awful, emphasizing the bright, shiny side of things while ignoring more damning information. They also push the patently false idea of the country being based on modern Christian values hard enough that they totally screwed things up.

            But again, you keep referring to Common Core as a “curriculum”. The point I’m trying to make is that CC is NOT a curriculum. It is a list. Anything that has happened beyond that list is the fault of someone else.

          • califmichele

            Sansive….watch this short video and it will all come to light….out of the mouth of the man who thinks he’s got the answer for everything….the college dropout who got lucky.

          • califmichele

            and so how can you say they aren’t making money on this? All those new text books and the people writing them aren’t doing it for free….and what about the storage for all the data collection? You must have read in the SBAC handbook about some of this….this whole scheme is to bring down the public schools to drive everyone into the Charter system which has little to no over sight.
            The single most factor should be what your child has learned in the classroom over the past year…not some high stakes test given at the end of the year which has some survey’s that you don’t even know about. Some schools where the kids have taken snapshots of pages are getting in trouble for posting them to FB….now why would that be if they should have nothing to hide?

          • Sansvie

            They being the Gates Foundation. Of course the textbook publishers are making money. And yes, the kids are getting in trouble. The tests are considered copyrighted material and cannot be reproduced, including by photo on Facebook, by anyone without permission. The same is actually true of any work. It just so happens that test publishers have a much greater interest in keeping this from happening than the publishers of a novel. In addition, because the testing companies reuse questions, having things posted or discussed openly destroyed the accuracy of later tests. It has NOTHING to do with hiding things from you.

            And the charter system doesn’t work the same way everywhere. In Texas, Charter schools are public schools. They are indeed overseen.

          • jendem

            They are working on them. And the new textbooks already have the anti-Western civilization bend to them. Not saying errors have not occurred in other books, that is how it goes sometimes. But the big picture is that all subjects are being impacted by the CC vision of education.

          • Sansvie

            Again, that has little to nothing to do with Common Core. There is no “CC vision” of education beyond seeking to create some level of uniformity across the nation’s educational system.

            What I’ve understood is that whole point in the CC project was to create a set of standards that are the same across the country. The motivation is very similar to the push to develop state standards over a decade ago. There is no reason why a child who moves from one state to another should have to find themselves way ahead or way behind simply because the standards vary so wildly. We had (and possibly still do have) states whose standards were full grade levels behind other states. If a child moved from one of those states to one with higher standards, they basically had no choice but to be held back a grade to catch up. That’s just stupid. I actually pretty strongly support the idea that our education system should have some level of uniformity to it – I don’t see it as a states’ rights issue.

            The whole thing – Common Core and state standards alike – looks “cookie cutter” but any system that bases education almost entirely on age and not mental development and maturity it going to feel that way. I make no claims that CC is a magic bullet to our system woes, but I also deny the claims that everything that is happening is due to the CC project. Getting rid of the Common Core would leave you with exactly the same issues is the blame isn’t spread out to where it belongs.

          • jendem

            Oh yes there is.…/dp/1497456045/ref=sr_1_1

          • jendem
          • califmichele

            less than 1% move…your argument sounds like the teachers and administrators have warped your mind. California had the best standards yet they tossed them aside for common core. Why? Because of money…NCLB was to make the schools look bad because you know a school can not get 100% compliance….so then here they come with RTTT….another carrot dangled like a sac of money……do you really think that Common Core isn’t coming with curriculum? you made me laugh on that one. Did you know this year is the 3rd year for a Common Core Forum in Dubai? Why? Because they are giving us Common Core….World Wide Education!
            I haven’t seen you post one link as to your research as I have for mine.

          • Sansvie

            Everything I’ve posted has come either directly from the actual standards or from my education including training in education, psychology, computer science, etc. I also spent time in an actual classroom and have spent several years as a homeschooling parent using a variety of different resources including both Common Core and non Common Core materials.

            If you call that link “research”, then you clearly have no idea what research actually is.

          • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

            The federal government has no right to be involved in standards, curriculum, or assessments. It is a right reserved for the states. Many states signed on to cc sight unseen! So it had nothing to do with their strong desire to improve education, because they didn’t even know what the standards were when they signed. And if the standards & all that has evolved due to the standards was so incredible, everyone would be lining up to adopt them. States had to be bribed with the NCLB waivers & money. Common core is untested & unproven, so why would anyone in their right mind spend such unbelievable amounts of money before having a sample group & assessing the outcomes? Instead, they implemented it without most parents and community members ever having heard of it, and pushed it upon almost every child in America. You see, parents, educators, and community members are wise enough to see what is really the motive and the agenda, and many have taken the time to do extensive research to uncover the connections & the truth. The documents are out there. It was sold as “just standards” to pacify people. We knew it was much more than that. American education will be destroyed if common core is not eliminated.

          • Michael Toso

            The CC vision is to broaden the experience of looking at how claims are made. Maybe conservatives don’t want any objective critical thinking that will expose the weakness in their views.

          • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

            AP History has already been impacted by common core, and it has eliminated most of the history of our founding fathers. It’s almost like the powers that be (Pearson Publishing, the British-owned company with many Libyan stockholders including a known Mulim terrorist) have devised it that way.You would think that American History would include, you know, like Americans who were involved in creating American history.

        • Michael Toso

          I can’t figure out why you fail to use any critical thinking to erase the bias you seem determined to use that limits any possible solutions..

        • Michael Toso

          Why does it take thirty years to react to “A Nation At Risk” by locals and still I see no discussion of recommendations and how to address them. No further discussion of what is wanted and how to get them. I would say that indicates lack of concern for grads.
          This is not about support for CC it is support for grads. Do not recommend rejection of CC with no constructive recommendations for improvements. That is a brainless move.

        • Alistair

          @disqus_kQCxbmBiok:disqus- You do realize that Islam is the only reason why many ancient, pre-Dark Ages texts still exist right? The same texts that sparked the Renaissance that brought Europe back from the brink? And don’t act like Christianity is all sunshine and rainbow’s honey- Christians are JUST as guilty of cruel and unusual acts as Muslims, and, I would contend, even more so.

      • Darleen Stry

        I resent that you say many people don’t understand math. Especially when you state that it’s primarily woman who don’t. If that is the truth then how do you explain the statistic that there are more woman engineers or science related professions today than there were even 5 or 10 years ago. Apparently you don’t understand statistics. Failure in math today is more thanks to the technology age than anything. How many people INCLUDING adults do you see whip out a calculator to figure out what the price of a new coat would be if they get 20% off that $40 coat or should they use their $10 coupon. Like duh

    • Sansvie

      The issues you describe are not related to the Common Core standards themselves. The issues you describe are directly related to poor implementation of the standards. The two things are completely different. For instance, in 4th grade math, this is the standards that might have a teacher use bar models:

      Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.”

      The use of a bar model can help a student generate the equation needed, but nowhere does the standard specify the use of bar models. The standard also never says to mark a question wrong because the drawing was off but the answers are consistently correct. The people doing that mess are the textbook/testing publishers, administration, and in some cases the teachers. The Common Core standards are NOT responsible for the mess you see. You can confirm that by looking at what states like Texas that have banned the use of Common Core standards are doing. Guess what? You see the exact same methods being used and the exact same totalitarian treatment of math skills. Of course, schools were doing this to kids even when I was growing up and that was decades before Common Core was even an idea!

      • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

        The common core stands do have recommended readings that are highly sexual & graphic. THAT is a fact. Why? There are many great literary works that are challenging and of value, without recommending books or passages from books that enter into a topic that should be left for parents to determine whether they want their child to be exposed to that smut. INDOCTRINATION

        • Sansvie

          First, recommended does not equal required. Second, the texts are called “exemplars”, not recommended works. This means that they give a guide as to the needed complexity of the texts and the breadth of the works that should be provided. Teachers and schools do NOT have to blindly use the sample texts. They could easily build an entire K-12 program that did not use a single one of the exemplar texts if they chose to do so. Taken directly from Appendix B of the English/Language Arts standards:

          “The choices should serve as useful guideposts in helping educators select texts of similar complexity, quality, and range for their own classrooms. They expressly do not represent a partial or complete reading list.”

          As to the nature of the novels, I read many a “classic” text in high school without the Common Core. Much of Chaucer is raunchy at best; Tess of D’Urbervilles includes rape, murder, and suicide; The Scarlett Letter includes an adulterous affair and a child born out of wedlock. I could go on, but the point is that older works cover subjects no less touchy.

          One of the major things librarians and teachers alike must fight is censorship. As a parent, you have the right to ask that your children not participate in the study of novels to which you object. Schools can and must provide alternative works that satisfy the same requirement. You do NOT have the right to keep children who are not your own from reading any particular item.

          I have to ask. Have you even bothered to actually READ the standards or are you just blindly trusting what the media and other groups have told you?

          • jendem

            It’s not about what is says in the standards, its about how the Common Core vision has corrupted our educational system. Why in the world should we, in any way, ignore all the problems that have come with Common Core? Education has been on a bad path for many years. The liberal indoctrination of teachers through the education colleges, the rise of big business of education, high stakes testing, micomanaging the classroom, it’s all amplified under Common Core. So if people are just now waking up because of that, good for them. Parents need to be aware and hold the schools accountable for what their children are exposed to at school. Educators need to respect the fact that they are teaching with the consent of the parents. Too much of that relationship has been broken in our society.

          • Sansvie

            “Liberal indoctrination”??? Seriously? Those are the claims that derail any and all attempts to work on the system because they play this us versus them game and make it a political issue instead of one of psychology and learning. It turns this whole thing into a political ball field. The state of the current educational system is a direct result of the whining of the American public demanding proof of performance and blaming everyone but the children for a lack of learning. Educational fads change every few decades, not because teachers and researchers in the fields of psychology and education learn new things but because the public keeps changing their minds about what they think will work or not.

            And I disagree with one of your statements. Educators are NOT teaching with the consent of parents. We have compulsive attendance laws in every state (unless I’ve missed something). Children are sent to school at the behest of the government not the other way around. Parents do not and should not have complete control over the classroom or the school. As I’ve said before, you have the right to exclude your child from teaching you see as working against your beliefs but you do NOT have any control over what everyone else gets to learn.

            Perhaps the most important point to make right now is that none of this is new. Common Core didn’t come about until well after high stakes testing began. It didn’t ruin education nor will getting rid of it fix a darned thing. The standards are not the root of the problem. It is the things that states and companies are trying to do with those standard that are at issue. You can’t even begin to address the standards when the stupid tests and totalitarian teaching methods prescribed by so many districts muck up the data.

          • jendem

            Sorry you feel sensitive about it. I know it throws people but it is true. The liberal ideology of allowing government into all aspects of our lives, setting up society as the elite/educated having to control the masses is a liberalization issue. Ultimately they are our children and everything that they participate in is with our consent. There are laws that say kids get an education, doesn’t have to be at a public school, but when it is parents still have a moral obligation to ensure their children are getting a proper education which includes being involved in how things work at the school. Parents have become drones, allowing society to run how we think rather than being active in our kid’s education and other civic aspects of our lives (like being an informed voter). I am not saying parents should “control” the classroom. I am saying parents should know what is going on and be involved far more than they are. And schools should not be teaching Islam or social justice or letting teachers offer their political opinions to the students in a diatribe. Nor should they be providing birth control or taking kids for medical exams or abortions. Parents are surrendering their kids to the state and the state, being being naturally attracted to having more power, is happily going along with this. That type of thing is happening far too much. The sanctity of the classroom should be respected by both teachers/staff and parents. Common core is derailing public education in many ways, more and greater high stakes testing is just one area. Common core violates the Constitution, state and parental rights, and corrupts what should be a great American Institution. I know I am drawing a lot of lines between topics that may seem unrelated, but they are not. This is all part of the political agenda of globalization. David Coleman has said it is the vision of the Common Core model for the school to replace the family in society. It is not new by any means and we have been struggling for decades to keep politicians out of education. Right now we are losing the battle but parents are still fighting and becoming more aware.

          • Michael Toso

            Liberal inclusion is better than conservative exclusion where you limit freedom to a narrow ideology. That is contrary to a country built on immigration from around the world.

          • Michael Toso

            I appreciate that someone cared after local control created failing schools.
            “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre
            educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of
            war”. From “A Nation At Risk” 1983

          • Mary

            It is Indoctrination. My children will never again participate in standardized testing. And I’ve advised everyone I know that if their school denies them their right to opt out – because they want to collect data – give them bad data. Pick a letter, mark it all the way down. When there’s an essay question – write about whatever they want. No need to read the questions because – like all else related to Common Core, the tests are written by idiots – people who are invested in these tests. They couldn’t care less about our kids or their education – they just want to make billions from the implementation and selling of these new tests back to the schools. It’s a nightmare. Parents and educators need to stand together – not pretend or convince people it’s a good thing. If you’re not with us, you’re part of the problem.

          • Michael Toso

            By not being involved in constructive education reform you are trusting others to do it for you. You are your own problem. Real solutions do not result from rejection.

          • Michael Toso

            When will parents be supported so they can help their kids? We have the internet and no more excuses.

          • J Diaz

            Common Core Standard for testing brings out anxiety to a child. In math for example teachers are trying as much as possible to cover all the material that will come in the CC test. If a child fails to understand one portion he will be left behind. In other instances a child is finally learn a new geometry concept, when the curriculum changes subject. He will find himself confused not knowing whether its sine, cos or tangent. Teachers should have the right to not hurry up for another subject and let their class learn at their own pace. The education system is running a mile long and one inch deep.

          • Jennifer DeMente

            Schools started failing long before then when the left started using them to promote their ideas starting with teaching evolution as fact and getting God out of classrooms. School should be about education not creating the youth in some misguided philosophy to effect social change. Common core is the gift wrap on the big present of turning our education system into something like they have in China, a production system, not education that helps students learn their gifts and passions. They learn to be test takers and if you can’t do that you fail. Also, all curriculum must be CC aligned and it has been devastating to see the low quality materials that schools have been using in addition to the politization of the materials like the desiccation of US AP History materials. They are not developmentally appropriate for elementary students nor are they sufficient for jr high and hs in math. Those on the national front leading the push for this stand to make a lot of money and they are really good and promoting CC as a cure to education problems. Those who have had it the longest, like NY, are practically rioting to get rid of it. Please, whatever your thoughts are, do your own research, question everything when there are billions of dollars to be made.

          • Michael Toso

            Common Core is a success. It got people to look at education as a national concern thirty years after “A Nation At Risk”. Unfortunately, they focus on CC instead of what grads need. How can you fail to pay attention to their needs? That is what started this national focus thirty years ago. Why focus on what you don’t want? Your attitude is what makes schools fail.


          • Michael Toso

            The failing education started with industry needing unskilled labor. We didn’t need thinkers. Now we find we need them. But we fail to understand how to make them. People are focused on blaming instead of shaping education. We deserve what we get.

          • Michael Toso

            CC is what to learn, not how to teach. Why no focus on what you want? Why don’t you find out what CC aligned is? Look at its goals instead of homework. You have the same with normal ed. Why not complain it is production lines?
            Why not focus on contributing to making improvements instead of rejection. How can we improve if we reject all ideas and every part of them?

          • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

            I am a certified elementary education teacher (K-9) and YES, I have actually read the standards. I don’t blindly follow- I research the facts on my own. Certainly, I do not have a right to keep children who are not my own from reading whatever they or their parents choose, but likewise, a school district has no right to force my child or anyone’s else’s child to read pornographic materials or any other materials that would be contrary to the moral teachings that we are instilling in the home or to force them to listen to or be involved in sexualizing of students. Parents have a right to determine what is morally reprehensible. And in truth, most schools do not include a syllabus informing parents of the literature that will be included in the coursework, nor do they disclose the sexual content of the reading materials or provide the opportunity to have alternate assignments.

        • Michael Toso

          Where is the indoctrination in CC? It is a set of standards. The only proof seems to come from local choices. I hope you understand there is always some local control

        • Michael Toso

          I have seen no evidence of indoctrination in CC. WHERE IS IT?

        • Michael Toso

          THEY are suggested reading and not intended to be THE LIST!!

      • jendem

        You are correct in that it is a lot about the “implementation”…however I would challenge you that it is not poor implementation. It is simply the natural consequences of disasterous planning and inept vision about what is appropriate for children. If this were some isolated incident I would agree with you, but this type of thing is happening everywhere CC has arrived, so are we really supposed to believe it’s not RELATED or CAUSED by Common Core?

        • Michael Toso

          The Common Core is a set of standards. Any further support and planning is expected to be local. After all the U.S. is a local based ed system. AGAIN, the poor implementation was under local control. Why can’t CC opponents understand that? Thirty years passed after the “A Nation At Risk” study describing failure under local control.
          If any higher planning is desired, then ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. All I see are complaints about fed interference but demand it do a better job. It left the planning to local control and that isn’t liked either.
          Let DOE support local control and stop whining.

        • Michael Toso

          CC was a fix for failing education, not the cause. The problems existed long before as found by “A Nation At Risk” from 1983. Look beyond the present to see why we react instead of act.

    • Michael Toso

      Testing is No Child Left Behind, NOT CC!!! Please SOME research. Everything you say is SUPPORT and is different everywhere.

  • jay

    This is a BS system that does nothing but dumb down America. Call me what you want but this is all planned to keep control of America. Keep us dumb enough to were the government can control us

    • freeman


      Looks like they didn’t even need Common Core to get to you.

  • Steinar Johansen

    Check where we are internationally and see how we keep falling behind. Tutoring two A students who are follow the old procedural way of teaching are not A student. Every time I ask them to explain why they do not have any answers. I give them a formula and the numbers and they can tweak it is all direction because they know a procedure for it. When I ask then why or give them any challenges they get lost immediately.
    Common core is absolutely the right way to go. It gives me as a future teacher the opportunity to teach into the depth instead of just offering recipes on how to solve a problem. One post talked about how his daughter all for a sudden feel stupid in math. That is because the kid do not understand math and she is not going to be college ready if she is not able to understand the concept behind math. Lets all support Common core. If your kid feel stupid it is because they are and they need to study more. When they understand the concept they will do fine. Have a good common core implementation in your school district

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  • Felicia

    As a middle school math teacher who is in the process of implementing Common Core standards, I am seeing first hand this is exactly the right approach for our young students. The Core allows for in-depth study of math concepts, collaborative work on the part of students, and solving real world math problems. There is less emphasis on only process and more on creative problem solving and rigor. Students are responding and learning at much higher levels than with old school lessons. I am in an average small community where traditional methods were leaving students behind. This is a breath of fresh air. Students are enjoying math and learning so much more. Because the Common Core scales back the number of topics for each level, it allows for a more in-depth approach with a great deal of creativity and flexibility on the part of teachers. Why would you want to keep a curriculum that is rooted in the 1950s for our 21st century kids? I admit there is an overemphasis on standardized testing, but that is not because of Common Core. Common Core is the framework for building your curriculum. Standardized tests are a separate issue. They have been part of education forever, no matter what curriculum a district chooses. If you want to get mad about something, get mad about standardized testing and the disservice this does to our students.

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  • Megan

    Dear Editor,
    The modern idea known as “Common Core”is a shabby scam. This article states the positive effects Common Core has had on the educational environment grades one through twelve are exposed to . One of the main points I came across was,”Common Core puts creativity back into the classrooms.” I myself attend a high school where Common Core curriculum is currently taught. My fellow classmates and I are taught an unreasonable amount of material in less than 30 weeks. Meaning, this doesn’t leave time for creativity in the class room. Common Core is a one-type-taught policy. This meaning that every student is taught, and learns exactly the same. High schools across America require a certain amount of credits, in each subject to graduate. This prohibits students from excelling in certain areas they have potential to achieve in dramatically. Another main point I came across was that, “the challenge of Common Core is good for students.” I have learned that the so called “challenge” consist of learning material that I will soon forget in the next year. Common Core is putting chains on the mind of students, and teaching material that is invaluable in many cases. Students should be allowed to choose their own educational routes without state standards telling students step-by-step what path they are to follow. I propose students should be exposed to an education system that teaches life-long-skills needed in the real world. Students should have the open option to pick and choose their own classes that will be beneficial to them throughout their years of studies, and life.

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  • Shelley Burgess

    Well, I do not know WHY asking a child to dig deeper and UNDERSTAND what they are reading and writing is “dummying down” education …. REALLY??

    The standards are JUST THAT! I get to decided what literature/nonfiction to teach and HOW to teach it. I am not being MANDATED to teach any specific TOPIC or CONTENT that tells my kids HOW to view a specific political view … however it IS ALLOWING me to teach BOTH sides of a political view that a TEXT BOOK does not allow, and provide my students RESEARCHED BASED knowledge to make up their own mind!! (ex – Christopher Columbus) Seriously people … get a grip and do your
    OWN research – stop listening to everyone that is so freakin’ negative about CC …. It means more work for teachers to develop units that allow students to DISCOVER the world they live in … I think THAT is the real problem … LAZY TEACHERS!!!! And those lazy teachers misinforming parents … NOW we have all this negative crap floating around that is hyping up more negative people.

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  • I think changing from Common Core is ridiculous.. School has already started and teachers have made their plans. These stupid legislators have NO IDEA about the curriculum. Let the teachers decide and certainly wait until there is plenty of time to hear from the teachers!!!
    The Federal government is NOT taking over our education, but there are some tea party groups that want to privatize our public education!! BEWARE

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  • Dee Marie

    But….so many do a poor job teaching…You may be teachers, but as a Human Resources professional filling jobs…I can say with authority, we are doing a lousy job as a country, even with the best and brightest students who come with optimal familial support. Sorry…teachers….You’re not preparing kids for the real world. Common Core standards reinforce the critical skills needed for success that will advance the American Economy. It’s not about you. It’s not about the child. It’s about our country. If the status quo worked, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, would we? It’s the employers who are ultimately who you are trying to please for the sake of the American economy! Lest you all forget! If you all have been obtaining the desired outcomes, independent of a paradigm to work from, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. 40% of employers can’t fill vacancies, despite the Recession of 2007, because people lack the technical and hard skills to do the jobs. Most cite critical thinking as a key element. Common core, despite the rhetoric, promotes deep critical thinking. My family of teachers agree, even where they were resistant in the beginning. Stop complaining, study up on it during the summer when you have off, if you care so much, and do your best to move this country forward. Period.

  • Bryan

    Home schooling is the best option right now. My 6 year old has class about 3 hours a day at anytime that works best for her and my wife and I. She has nearly a 3rd grade reading level and knows about her world and history that most 4th graders could not understand.

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  • Blake Horton

    Why are all of the defendants of common core insulting the non supporters personally? This is problem because we all want better education, not because of our egos. If your going to challenge someone’s opinion with insults toward that persons intelligence then please grow up.

  • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

    How much money has NEA received from Gates’ funds to promote common core?

    • jendem

      223 million in grants total to various agencies including the NEA.

      • Cindy Haxel Stupavsky

        THANK YOU!

  • Kelly Lynn

    Ratchets up rigor? Well death ratchets up rigor too. Are you condoning that? Are you saying the methods that were used since the Phoenicians developed math, suddenly are not good enough? We need 15 steps to solve a 3 step problem? Ignoring the fact that it is aptly named. COMMON, which it makes all kids. No one can stand out? It enhances creativity? Please do not get me started on that lie. It stifles creativity in so many ways. Less time for recess, art, music so we can beat this nonsense into the heads of our children. Gets kids college ready? Really? And what about REAL WORLD READY? You think any boss will stand around while you do a 20 step process to discover that 87 -17 = 70? REAL WORLD is about results, not drawing bar graphs and circles to prove your work? “The Common Core allows educators to take ownership of the curriculum…” REALLY? Is that why so many quit So many are frustrated at having to teach only what the curriculum allows? Common Core Gives Students a Deep Dive. So does SCUBA. But since they need 5 minutes to do all the steps in this version of math, might not be a good idea for them. Really, you all are so willing to toss away the tried and true methods that got you where you are today, for a program that even Bill Gates admits will take at least 12 years to know if it is working at all? Are you all insane? Did you all skip your meds today? Or are you all just evil corporate drones doing the masters bidding without question? You became teachers to be a mere cog in the machine? That was your life’s ambition? Using this method, NASA would never have been founded let alone reached the moon. We’d all be walking as Ford would never have been able to build a car, after all math was involved. Stop letting corporate drones write these articles. STOP getting in the way of our teachers. LET THEM TEACH and forget the profits made by a few at the expense of the many.

  • Brruinsgirl .

    WOW! Try Common Core is one sized fits all which does not work. Common Core makes kids feel dumb. Common Core divides parents and children, Teachers are forced to teach ridiculous methods…… Now For the ELA…. At times inappropriate in more ways than one. Most HS reading is informational texts rather than classic writings of Hemingway, Steinbeck. Rand and Orwell. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Brruinsgirl .

    It is more like Commie Core…..
    “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state.”

  • DueNorth

    When I hear the word “rigor”, it’s like nails on a blackboard! My daughter’s math sheet asked her to “draw two triangles, each with different attributes.” Attributes? She is 6 years old! This word is not developmentally appropriate for 1st grade.

  • B. Maynard


  • beav

    1.) Nebulous goal. Do you presume that there is no creativity in today’s classroom, otherwise?
    2.) It can give the student a deep dive, but, for the most part, the standard is set so low that poorly performing districts will set those low standards as the bar to hit. This is a Helleresque goal.
    3.) Another nebulous goal. Why would Common Core be the required means to accomplish that?
    4.) Collaborative? What about individual initiative? Ambition? Individual excellence? If something isn’t ‘working,’ who is responsible for that? The top down power structure that forces things, that ‘don’t work,’ down on those who present it to the classroom? What is the bottom up feedback loop?

    Answer: there isn’t one.

    5.) Equity? For the love of god, you’re kidding, right?

    6.) …unless you want a STEM career and your math skills end at a watered down Alg2. You would need REMEDIAL math in college to get you past calculus, where you should, arguably, HAVE BEEN in any sort of high expectation educational system. A system that Common Core isn’t.

    Get that clue NEA. You’re enabling failure on a vast and grand scale.

    I’m not a teacher. My degree is in Chemistry. I serve on my local school board. I appreciate the work that my local teacher does. I do not appreciate the top down command and control education that the US DoE is ramming down the throats of today’s students.

    I consider myself a survivor of the New Math carpet bombed on us in the 1960s. Never Again.

    Stop Common Core. Adopt the MA MCAS standards and expectations. That was World Class a decade ago and HAS been bench marked against world competition. Common Core is made from some sort of whole cloth with no real comparison and its not bench marked to anything.

  • jendem

    The only one of those list that is true is #5. We already know there is a lot of social justice nonsense behind CC. The rest are blatant, demonstrable lies. Bill Gate has basically BOUGHT national education policy. Everyone involved in it knows it is not researched or benchmarked. It is also similar to how they do education in China as far as becoming a “mill” instead of a school. The aligned curriculum is error riddled, developmentally inappropriate, and anti- Western civilization. We have already robbed our kids of so much of their heritage as Americans… this has to stop. Parents if you haven’t already please please please do your OWN research into common core.

  • whowon

    Sounds like the NEA is getting desperate. NEA in Chicago no longer defends. Parents are outraged across the country yet the NEA and Chamber of Commerce wants parents to just believe them. Those 2 groups have done more damage to themselves for not listening, teacher are NOT signing up with the union anymore and members are leaving the chamber. MANY teachers are now retiring because they hate it too.

  • califmichele
  • califmichele
  • Lucy

    All lies. I found myself shaking my head as I read this article – wondering if the author actually believes what they’re saying. Common Core is the most ridiculous and damaging thing to be implemented into our schools. If you thought No Child Left Behind was bad – Common Core is that times 100. It hurts our children, immeasurably. It prevents teachers from teaching. It’s sole purpose is to create “conformity” which is good for nobody. It strives to make everyone equally ignorant. It denies individuality, creativity and excelling. It’s complicated and confusing – although they like to call this “challenging”. What a joke. No honest educator would support this curriculum – because it IS a curriculum, whether they admit it or not. I purchased and read the first 118 pages of a book that is being assigned to my freshman. The teacher says that although there is profanity and mature content ie, references to masturbation – it doesn’t dominate the plot. It may not dominate the plot, but it certainly dominates most of the pages. No sane parent would want their daughter having a visual of a 14 yr old masturbating – and having the character say how great it is, how everyone does it, and everyone likes it. HOW is this appropriate for school? I will not rest until common core is removed from our schools. And I will not allow my children to participate in any standardized testing. Common Core is ALL about the money and control – it has absolutely nothing to do with education.

  • Michael Toso

    Local control means being able to choose from options needed, not just options available. The CC issue is about doing that. But opponents avoid that discussion.

  • Michael Toso

    So if that is the case, then where is your proof?

    • Kelly Lynn

      Oh and since this was like two months ago, I am done with this discussion. Keep saluting whatever flag they tell you too and drinking the Kool-Aid.
      Missed that did you. Adios.

      • Michael Toso

        Its no wonder we still have this problem thirty years after “A Nation At Risk”.
        People like you failing to understand the issue while only looking at side shows. NO SOLUTIONS offered only rejection.
        What are your goals, solutions, input that are not negative?

  • Michael Toso

    The dictates of what controls local choices come from grad needs for life after graduation. That is what the economy, college and employers etc need. You are way off track.

  • Michael Toso

    The feds wanted quality, PERIOD. The states cheated by lowering expectations. THE STATES did their own testing and still cheated.
    The what to learn is defined by society usage, not feds. You and I can communicate only by sharing a common or shared definition of a language. Now CC opponents call that fed interference because of a word “COMMON”.

  • Michael Toso

    I came from the Moon landing era. Believe me I have had difficulty engaging adults from then about productivity with simple tasks like stocking shelves and assembly lines. Some people cannot distinguish between explanation and defending an opinion or between informational discussion before forming opinions. You appear clueless to my discussion.

  • califmichele

    aren’t the scores from the SBAC coming out soon? your argument isn’t going to hold up. Then why hasn’t Bill Gates money done anything to help the situation?

    • Michael Toso

      Look at how much more we spent than other nations before CC and that created the problem. You expect a fix for 15,000 districts, 90,000 schools and countless teachers in an independent local control education system that requires cooperation and success by each to be done quickly? You must be dreaming.
      The problem is we can’t have a central fix that works without cooperation. No mechanism exists for discussion of any issue beyond local concerns exist and standards are not local.

  • Michael Toso

    Why do you insist on invalid evidence? If you want to blame standards then quote from them. Textbooks, homework and standards are different! Standards are a request for what textbooks should look like. COMPARE THEM! You are showing me local implementation, not standards. Looks like you should blame textbooks.

  • FC White

    “A Nation At Risk” was first and foremost, a POLITICAL document, developed by right-wing extremists in Ronald Reagan’s cabinet over three decades ago. Today it is considered a decrepit, putrid bag of wind, that no one takes seriously except far righties who hate anything with the words “public” or “union”, the very gullible, the ignorant and/or misinformed and the few remaining fossils from those days long, long ago:

    • Michael Toso

      My personal experience verifies ANAR. Maybe you should look at what it says.

    • Michael Toso

      It had truth in it so why do you limit it by politics?

  • Michael Toso

    The CC critics sound like a whiners convention! Where are the positive ideas and discussions about moving ed forward? How about adapting a non CC set of state standards? Why not compare CC with non CC states? Why not implement ways to offer feedback to schools with ideas and discussions. I find critics failing the number one rule, “Don’t distract from the issue”. CC was a reaction to failing ed, not the cause. So it is not the problem. Our problem is we fail to look for ways to make ed flexible to improve in a stress free way.
    This is the reason ed has languished in the past and continues to do so when people prefer to be distracted with complaints instead of focusing on improving the system. Why blame others when YOU are the problem.

  • Jeff Munnecke

    After reading this, I am more confused and have a more un favorable opinion. Here are my concerns by sections.
    1) it ‘streamlines’ education, to me implies that you will go faster over all content while removing content (see section 2)
    2) ‘removes things’. We should not be removing content, as we are currently falling behind in our education versus the rest of the world, in my opinion this will not benefit the children or our society.
    3) No difference from current structure in my opinion.
    4) ‘crowd source education’ , really? and ‘focus on common core because too much variability. . ‘ yet now all teachers can have a different plan, and every class will be different.
    5) ‘challenge all students, not just the high achieving ones’ really? Why are the high achievers now challenged and not the average or below average achievers challenged. This just does not make sense to me. In essence to paraphrase ‘these kids are doing too good, lets change it to be more difficult to them’
    6) Of course the goal of any education system is to get kids college or career ready.

    As i said, i now have more concerns then i did before, and I assume this article is PRO common core, or are you just making this more challenging to me so that I have to critically think about the nonsense you just spouted so that i can make my OWN decision regarding the un-improved improvements and this is actually a CON common core article. Let me take more time to creatively think about this, even though i have already found my answer.

  • Zarif Karim

    Common core is horrible.

  • Frank Stallone II

    You have to experience it with a positive attitude and with an interest to see how it works. 🙂

  • Andy

    those 6 points are not explaining why we should use common core. Are they try to make people like computer?

  • Capitalist Brotha

    Much of the complaints about common core is the way it is taught. The standards are a red herring.

    There is also a level of chutzpah in the common core reformers towards parents that is unprecedented in educational reform. Outside of faith, there is no reason to believe much of the hype that these people are selling