Myth vs. Fact 6

Momentum Is Building Among States To Ditch Common Core Standards

“As Americans become educated about the controversial Common Core Standards, more states are finding ways to make U-turns to get their students, parents, and teachers out of the nationalized system of standards.” Susan Berry, Breitbart News, June 18, 2014



Correcting the Record: Headlines over the past year, fanned by Common Core opponents, have propagated the idea that states are making a dash for the door when it comes to high education standards. Yet, the fact is that, despite more than 18 months of targeted attacks and after two election cycles, all but one of the 45 states to initially adopt Common Core Standards continue to use them or a version tailored to their state-specific needs.

“Across the country a false narrative is perpetuating the idea that conservatives are ready to cede the fight we started years ago for high education standards,” Former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue wrote in October. “From the headlines and from the bullhorns of commentators, one might well conclude Common Core Standards are all but doomed. Yet, the facts paint a much different picture.”

Gov. Perdue goes on to say, “Some states have rebranded the standards. Others have amended and built on them further, just as they were designed. Neither amount to what many label ‘repeal.’”

As Gov. Perdue points out, in many cases critics have inaccurately conflated states’ calls to review Common Core Standards with wholesale repeal. In fact, the Common Core is designed for states to take control and make adjustments to best suit their students.

“One thing we’ve all agreed on is the importance of high standards,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, one leader to call for a review of the Standards said in October. “For me, it shouldn’t be about the name and what we call it. The battle should be about: Are we going to have high standards or not, and what exactly should those standards be?…That’s one thing you’re never going to hear me backing up on, period.”

Moreover, states that have fully implemented the Common Core Standards are seeing some of the biggest improvements in student outcomes in the country. In Kentucky, the first state to adopt and fully align teaching to the Standards, college-readiness scores and proficiency rates have increased each of the last three years.

“The numbers show, without a doubt, that we are making progress,” education commissioner Terry Holiday said of the gains.

In Tennessee, another early adopter of the Common Core, students made the biggest improvements in college-readiness scores in the state’s history, which ACT president Jon Erickson called “indicative of real academic progress.”