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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US News & World Report, “There’s No Revolt against Common Core”: Don’t buy the attention-grabbing headlines; a closer look at national polling reveals parents and teachers alike broadly support rigorous education standards and a balanced approach to testing, writes Carmel Martin, vice president of the Center for American Progress. While the PDK/Gallup poll showed “anxieties about the transition to Common Core” and over-testing, it “appears to be an outlier.” “The goals of the Common Core – i.e. raising standards so the United States is more competitive with other countries – are even more popular than specific standards, with nine in 10 voters expressing their support in a recent poll by Public Policy Polling,” Martin writes.

What It Means: Martin’s message drives home the same point Karen Nussle wrote about earlier this week: contrary to some headlines, recent polling taken in aggregate indicates the public continues to support high education standards and honest assessments. Measures to raise classroom expectations for all students are especially important for and embraced by communities of color, which continue to face educational equity issues.

East Oregonian, “Testing Opt-Out Will Ultimately Hurt Taxpayers”: The editorial board writes that parents who allowed their children to refuse state assessments “did their kids no favor,” and if opt-out numbers grow “they could cause problems for all school-age children in Oregon.” Noting that many districts fell below the federal 95 percent participation rate requirement, the editorial says, “Those numbers matter because there’s money at stake.

What It Means: Student assessments are one of the strongest tools parents and teachers have to accurately measure student development, identify and address learning needs, and ensure that students are on a path of college- and career-readiness.

Modesto Bee, “The Hard Work, Tears of Common Core Are Worth It”: April Martignetti, a parent and president of her local PTA, explains that while changes under Common Core State Standards have been difficult at times, “none of the short-term challenges outweigh what our children stand to gain.” “Common Core sets a higher bar for students by focusing on real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving – skills our kids will need to be successful in college and in their jobs,” Martignetti says.

What It Means: While Common Core State Standards ask more of students, the purpose is to ensure they develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed at high levels of learning. In math, for example, Common Core State Standards introduce multiple problem-solving techniques, in addition to traditional practices like memorization and standard algorithms, to help students gain a deeper conceptual understanding of numbers and functions.

Corvallis Gazette Times, “Oregon ACT Scores Show Improved College Readiness”: Statewide results from the ACT college entrance exam in Oregon show improvement in college-readiness rates among graduating high school seniors. Thirty-one percent of the test-takers scored proficient or higher across all subjects, and the composite scores for black, white, Latino and Native American students increased.

What It Means: The results in Oregon add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that high education standards coupled with honest assessments are helping improve student outcomes. Early adopters of the Common Core State Standards, like Kentucky, Tennessee and New York, have achieved steady, and in some cases significant, academic improvements since adopting the standards.

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