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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Learning Heroes, “Game Plan for Success!”: To be successful – whether in the classroom, on the sports field or in the workplace – you need a game plan. Schools across the country are helping students develop just that through the implementation of rigorous, clear academic expectations and classroom support. And at Be a Learning Hero, they want to hear how your local school is hitting it out of the park to help students achieve those goals.

Politico Pro, “PARCC Panelists Puzzle over Cut Scores”: Twelve 20-member committees are gathering this week and over the next month to determine what levels students will need to reach to attain a proficiency on new PARCC exams, which will indicate whether a child is on track for the next grade level. Panelists say they are mindful there may be gaps between how student doing now and how they hope students will perform in the future. “It may be a tough test, but it’s going to give us a true reflection of where our students are and what help they need,” says Marti Shirley, an Illinois math teacher. About 5 million students took the PARCC tests this past school year.

What It Means: New high-quality assessments like PARCC hold students to high academic expectations that reflect the skills and knowledge they need to have to be college- and career-ready. Because the tests set the bar higher, the assessments provide parents and teachers with better information about how well their children are really doing, and gives them the tools to identify and address learning needs.

Washington Post, “Worst of the Worst”: Examining the “worst of the 2016 presidential race up to this point,” conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that the worst pandering has come from Republican leaders seeking to appease a small but vocal group of activists over opposition to the Common Core State Standards. “On the right, Common Core, even more than immigration, is the most misrepresented and demagogued issue.

What It Means: Like Rubin, education experts roundly agree that opponents of Common Core State Standards have perpetuated misleading and often downright false information about the standards to erode public support. “Lies, myths, exaggerations and hysteria about what the Common Core means and does have dominated the ‘debate’ and the real issues have been obscured,” former Reagan Education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote earlier this year.

US News & World Report, “Common Core for College Readiness”: Tiffany Miller, education director for the Center for American Progress, writes that for college-bound students, especially first-generation college students, the start of the academic year hold a lot of excitement and uncertainty.

What It Means: By setting high learning goals, giving local teachers control of how to meet them, and holding schools accountable through meaningful assessments, Common Core State Standards and the tests that support them ensure more students will graduate high school fully prepared for college or a career.

Associated Press, “Arkansas Panel: Keep Common Core for Now as Review Conducted”: The committee tasked to review the Arkansas’ education standards recommended Thursday that the state should continue to use the Common Core while looking at areas that need change. The Governor’s Council on Common Core Review unanimously approved a set of recommendations that call for the state’s “complete and unfettered control” over education standards. Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who chaired the committee, said it didn’t make sense to drop the standards before considering how to replace them.

What It Means: The review committee’s recommendation that Arkansas continue to employ the Common Core State Standards while continuing to evaluate them matches similar measures other states have taken to ensure the standards meet their students’ needs. After two national elections, all but one of the 45 states to initially adopt the Common Core continue to use the standards, or a nearly identical version.

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Correcting the Record:

Education Week, “A Few Lessons that AP U.S. History Can Teach the Common Core”: In response to the new framework released by the College Board for Advanced Placement U.S. History exams, Rick Hess writes “that there are some intriguing parallels to the Common Core kerfuffle.” “The College Board seems to have learned from, benefited from, and largely defused the blowback…while the Common Core’s path looks quite different.”

Where They Went Wrong: Hess makes a valid point that implementation of the Common Core State Standards has not been flawless. As with any meaningful reform, there have been bumps along the way. Contrary to Hess’ point, states have taken ownership of the Common Core, reviewing the standards, refining and building on them, and putting their stamp of ownership on it.