Welcome to the Common Core Fact Checker

Correcting the record: The Common Core State Standards are one of the most important issues dominating today’s education discussion. This Fact Checker site was created to correct the record on some of the most outrageous myths and ideas about the Standards. Here you will find information about the Standards, our daily update and resources to help you determine what is fact and what is fiction.

These resources will be updated daily and are provided to create a clearer vision of what the standards mean to you, your family, students and your community.

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National Review, “The CPAC Panel on Common Core Was…Not Good”: Yesterday’s CPAC panel discussion on CCSS provided “one, misleading side of the debate, which is a disservice to conservative Common Core supporters and to the audience members themselves,” writes Patrick Brennan.

What It Means: In the debate over CCSS erroneous information and heated rhetoric have largely drown out substantive discussion, as many experts like Sec. Bill Bennett and others have often pointed out. While CCSS may be a rallying cry for a small, vocal political constituency, the Standards continue to persevere because the public fundamentally supports high, comparable education standards.

Washington Post, “The Republican Curriculum on Common Core”: What’s to account for several likely GOP presidential candidates’ “change of heart” on CCSS and “risible” claims of federal implementation or loss of local control? Their willingness to “abandon principle to curry favor with conservative Republicans,” writes the editorial board.

What It Means: Several prominent GOP leaders who once strongly supported CCSS have reneged on their position to win points with a small but vocal section of the party. Such political posturing puts students at a disadvantage, and as recent polling indicates, could actually hurt candidates at the polls.

Wall Street Journal, “Jeb Bush and Common Core Misconceptions”: Gov. Jeb Bush’s support for CCSS as a “rigorous yardstick to measure student progress doesn’t mean that he seeks to impose the same test on all students in public schools,” writes Juleanna Glover, a Republican strategist.

What It Means: Unlike several likely Republican presidential candidates, Gov. Bush has been resolute in his support for high education standards. Gov. Bush has regularly emphasized the state-led nature of CCSS and the need for strong executive leadership to maintain a limited federal role in education.

West Virginia Gazette, “Common Sense Needed on Common Core”: State superintendent Michael Martirano writes West Virginia’s CCSS-aligned standards “are not curriculum,” but “the two are often confused.” “I am confident this type of confusion can be remedied without repealing the standards,” Martirano says.

What It Means: Martirano makes the important point that repealing CCSS would put students at a disadvantage and ignore the opinion of educators.

Hechinger Report, “Common Core Works – When Teachers and Parents Get a Say in Rewriting It”: In the latest in a series of open letters between New York principal Carol Burris and Florida principal Jayne Ellspermann, Ellspermann says her grandsons’ experiences with Common Core demonstrated “a growth in mindset.”

What It Means: Ellspermann makes an important point that successful implementation of CCSS hinges on teachers’ support and ability to teach to the Standards.

NBC 4 Reno, “Common Core: Changes in the Classroom”: Several Nevada teachers report they have seen an improvement in student development and engagement under CCSS. “The content hasn’t changed, but what’s changed is the amount of discussion, the amount of thought and the amount of writing that’s been going on in math class, specifically,” says Glenn Waddell, head of a local math department.

What It Means: Teachers across the country who have worked closely with CCSS share the same enthusiasm as those in Nevada.

Arizona Republic, “Want Better Education Standards? Don’t Look Back”: Despite relentless attacks from the state legislature, Arizona’s CCSS-aligned standards “already are showing signs of raising academic achievement,” the editorial board writes.

What It Means: In states like Arizona, lawmakers’ efforts to repeal CCSS create uncertainty for teachers and students and risk harming students by reverting back to old, inferior standards.

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Correcting the Record:

WND Education, “Jindal Pounds Common Core in CPAC Speech”: Speaking at CPAC Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “We need to remove Common Core from every classroom in America.”

Where They Went Wrong: Gov. Jindal’s attempt to portray CCSS as a federal overreach into local education amounts to a dishonest ruse at the expense of students.

Christian Post, “Ben Carson: Homeschool, School Choice Benefit All Americans, Common Core Doesn’t”: Speaking at CPAC Thursday, Dr. Ben Carson said he supports school choice and CCSS do not align with that.

Where They Went Wrong: Willfully or not, Dr. Carson perpetuates the myth CCSS represent a federal intrusion into local control of education.

Washington Examiner, “How to Get Rid of Common Core”: Participants at the CPAC panel on CCSS said getting out of federally funded testing programs and grassroots opposition were two important ways to roll back the Standards.

Where They Went Wrong: As National Review’s Patrick Brennan wrote (see above) McClusky and McGroarty’s discussion largely fed into myths about CCSS while avoiding constructive debate about the merits of the Standards.