5 Arguments Against Common Core Standards

Common Core
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INTERACTIONS

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSI) came about in 2009 when the National Governors Association pursued development of new educational expectations. The NGA collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers and released CCSI in 2010. The hope is to create a more modern and competitive education model for the US.

There are currently 45 states opting into the standards, with a few proposing legislation to remove itself from it.

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1. The standards create a lack of diversity

Prescribing the same standards to all states ignores the fact that some students learn different subjects at different paces. States can have different educational priorities and environments.

There is more emphasis on non-fictional texts and technological education. What may get lost in translation is the reading of classic American literature. There are requirements to dedicate time to more informational reading, which dilutes time to study complex literature.

2. States pay for the cost of implementation

With any substantial change to education comes the cost of implementation. Teachers must get familiar with new standards. New materials such as different textbooks, technology, and testing may be required.

California recently dedicated $1 billion to promoting the Common Core standards for professional development. The Pioneer Institute estimated the nationwide cost for implementation to be around $15.8 billion.

3. It is establishing national standards

States opt into the standards and there is no law that makes Common Core a national curriculum. However, the federal Department of Education can, and has, used grant competitions like Race to the Top to encourage states to adopt school reforms, including the Common Core standards.

Race to the Top has awarded more than $4.3 billion to states since it began in 2009.

4. Outlined standards are too long, detailed, and cumbersome

The standards are meant to keep the United States competitive on an international level. However, some European nations have much more condensed standards. In Finland, mathematical standards for elementary and middle schoolers fit on nine pages, while Common Core presents more than 70 pages.

Education activist and formed deputy secretary for the Education Department, Diane Ravitch, stated:

“It leaves little time for teachers to realistically prepare thoughtful curriculum or accomodate for developmental differences. Instead it promotes a highly prescribed training of children.”

5. Top-down education reforms are not effective

The leading argument against the standards is that its perceived as a one-size-fits all, top-down, education reform. States’ rights advocates tend to see local and state control of educational content as not only more effective, but constitutionally sound.

No Child Left Behind, the last nationwide education reform, is widely considered to be a failure. The law requires every state to meet standardized testing goals and placing sanctions for shortcomings. Although Common Core was constructed by a consortium of education officials and the NGA, the teachers in the classroom and local districts should be able to decide what should be taught.

Arguments in favor of the Common Core can be found here. This will be an ongoing discussion with the objective of providing a balanced discussion of education policy. Be sure to check out previous coverage of the issue on IVN:

Effectiveness of Common Core Standards Leaves Educators Uncertain

States Laws to Resist Common Core Standards Implementation

New National Curriculum Standards Geared for Global Economy

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  1. Anonymous @Sean Campbell what a well thought out argument. #not
  2. Sean Campbell Arguments against common core: 1. it's okay for Alabama and Arkansas students to have worse opportunities in school than New York and PA students: state's rights! 2. it's okay for Arizona to re-write history that it doesn't agree with: state's rights! 3. it's okay for children growing up in Kentucky to be laughed at in other countries because they're not allowed to learn evolution 4. Some students need special attention so we should screw every other student out of world-class education 5. 'MERICA!!
  3. Scott O. Smith I don't like Common Core because cookie-cutter approaches to learning do not work; however, I have nothing against having a standard of measurement.
  4. John A. Schneiter Anything that is designed by the terrorist Bill Ayers and his wife can't be a good thing for free thinking or freedom.
  5. David Cardarelli I don't have a position one way or the other; but you don'have to cross atate lines to find differences in learning capacity. You don't even have to go outside a specific classroom.
  6. Anne Jackson Further proof no one here actually knows how our public school systems works across the states. I have a unique perspective because I and my children have attended schools all over the US. Newsflash, our children already take yearly standardized tests, ever hear of No Child Left Behind? The difference being, some states have "dumbed down" those tests so it looks as though those students are doing well. Take those same group of kids and put them into a school with a more challenging curriculum and they are not on par. Sadly, most of the comments on here are so off point and the perfect example of Americans forming an opinion knowing NOTHING about it, other than what political party seemingly backs it up. There is nothing "independent" about that. Why are so many so focused on making sure each state has it's own needs? Math is math no matter where you live! Language Arts is the language arts no matter where you live? Does Science change from state to state? No, of course not! The only difference is history or social studies. If you live in FL, you may learn about Ponce De Leon and take a field trip to St. Augustine. If you live in NH, you may learn about the Quakers and take a field trip to a Quaker village. Those aspects will not change.
  7. Coleen Miller Kudlik Send your kids to private schools and get the government out of our lives.
  8. Rahburt Kappar Idiotic. Grant them that and they're one step closer to claiming race matters, again.
  9. Anne Gross Beal so now we hear from the people who are afraid the standards are too rigorous. Wake up folks; some people are just smarter than others. Some children learn faster than others. We do not do society or civilization any favors by dumbing down our educational standards so that nobody's child will fail. Civilization flourishes when genius is nurtured, not told to sit down and shut up.
  10. Kevin VonMoses States compete for attracting business, taxpayers and such with the legal environment and the educational system... Companies and Taxpayers don't move into states with lousy schools or hostile laws... Common Core 'levels' the playing field, like any other Communist Manifesto, making it impossible to differentiate your State from any other, so no State is more 'attractive' than another. The same imbeciles who brought you baseball and soccer games with no scores are behind this, driven along by incompetent State Legislators whose first consideration about any Bill is if it will 'lose' Federal Funding, or the money the Federal Government stole from the State in the first place. What WOULD happen if YOUR State didn't give 30% of the discretionary cash in every household to the Federal Government? What is really wrong with Common Core is that the States aren't using the 10th Amendment to tell the Federal Government to fix their own problems before minding everyone else's business.
117 comments
Sean Campbell
Sean Campbell

Arguments against common core: 1. it's okay for Alabama and Arkansas students to have worse opportunities in school than New York and PA students: state's rights! 2. it's okay for Arizona to re-write history that it doesn't agree with: state's rights! 3. it's okay for children growing up in Kentucky to be laughed at in other countries because they're not allowed to learn evolution 4. Some students need special attention so we should screw every other student out of world-class education 5. 'MERICA!!

Scott O. Smith
Scott O. Smith

I don't like Common Core because cookie-cutter approaches to learning do not work; however, I have nothing against having a standard of measurement.

John A. Schneiter
John A. Schneiter

Anything that is designed by the terrorist Bill Ayers and his wife can't be a good thing for free thinking or freedom.

David Cardarelli
David Cardarelli

I don't have a position one way or the other; but you don'have to cross atate lines to find differences in learning capacity. You don't even have to go outside a specific classroom.

Anne Jackson
Anne Jackson

Further proof no one here actually knows how our public school systems works across the states. I have a unique perspective because I and my children have attended schools all over the US. Newsflash, our children already take yearly standardized tests, ever hear of No Child Left Behind? The difference being, some states have "dumbed down" those tests so it looks as though those students are doing well. Take those same group of kids and put them into a school with a more challenging curriculum and they are not on par. Sadly, most of the comments on here are so off point and the perfect example of Americans forming an opinion knowing NOTHING about it, other than what political party seemingly backs it up. There is nothing "independent" about that. Why are so many so focused on making sure each state has it's own needs? Math is math no matter where you live! Language Arts is the language arts no matter where you live? Does Science change from state to state? No, of course not! The only difference is history or social studies. If you live in FL, you may learn about Ponce De Leon and take a field trip to St. Augustine. If you live in NH, you may learn about the Quakers and take a field trip to a Quaker village. Those aspects will not change.

Coleen Miller Kudlik
Coleen Miller Kudlik

Send your kids to private schools and get the government out of our lives.

Rahburt Kappar
Rahburt Kappar

Idiotic. Grant them that and they're one step closer to claiming race matters, again.

Anne Gross Beal
Anne Gross Beal

so now we hear from the people who are afraid the standards are too rigorous. Wake up folks; some people are just smarter than others. Some children learn faster than others. We do not do society or civilization any favors by dumbing down our educational standards so that nobody's child will fail. Civilization flourishes when genius is nurtured, not told to sit down and shut up.

Kevin VonMoses
Kevin VonMoses

States compete for attracting business, taxpayers and such with the legal environment and the educational system... Companies and Taxpayers don't move into states with lousy schools or hostile laws...

Common Core 'levels' the playing field, like any other Communist Manifesto, making it impossible to differentiate your State from any other, so no State is more 'attractive' than another.

The same imbeciles who brought you baseball and soccer games with no scores are behind this, driven along by incompetent State Legislators whose first consideration about any Bill is if it will 'lose' Federal Funding, or the money the Federal Government stole from the State in the first place.

What WOULD happen if YOUR State didn't give 30% of the discretionary cash in every household to the Federal Government?

What is really wrong with Common Core is that the States aren't using the 10th Amendment to tell the Federal Government to fix their own problems before minding everyone else's business.

Koda Gashy
Koda Gashy

How are 5 arguments ALL AGAINST an issue somehow "independent?" Is the implication that there are absolutely no arguments in support?

Lloyd Ritchey
Lloyd Ritchey

Everything the State does is one-size-fits-all, and a violation of our very individual nature.

Progressive Party of California - Bullmoose
Progressive Party of California - Bullmoose

Disagree. Quite true that students respond better to different styles of learning and one size does not fit all. However, ultimately, our goal must be that, whichever road a student takes to attain knowledge, he needs to reach a common destination that includes literacy, as well as knowledge of math, science, and other key subjects.

Failing to measure student knowledge would be foolish. It would be paying for services while admitting an inability to know if anything is achieved when the money has been spent.

Edward A. Boles
Edward A. Boles

This is going to be boring for those students who have the intelligence to exceed the standards. This one size fits all, as I understand the program, will set us back even more in world competition.

Dan Ames
Dan Ames

How about just scrapping the system all together???

Jacob Wagner
Jacob Wagner

Common core is a way for the establishment to force all of the non-wealthy into the obedient robot mold. Return the control of education back to the communities, and let communities live life as they see fit!

Stuart James
Stuart James

Disagree, the common core is a solid minimum standard that every student should perform at. Standards can be set higher, and if students can't meet the standards than that is okay but it is no reason to lower the standard just so that it can be met.

Barbara Holmes
Barbara Holmes

This is, no doubt, how Hairy Reid, Nancy Pukeosy, and Barack Hitler Obamma were educated.

Todd Ridolph
Todd Ridolph

"Workforce Education to manage Human Capital" - Common Core

Roger Winkler
Roger Winkler

Common Core epitomizes the statist `one-size-fits-all' fraud the Dept of Ed has been perpetrating ever since it was created as a payoff to teacher's unions by Jimmy Carter

Mark Laursen
Mark Laursen

It just Compliance. They want to think a like, and know nothing.

Ian Bell
Ian Bell

The problems with the current "common core", is that it is far too heavy in Socialism/Liberally biased information!!

Ray Ninness
Ray Ninness

Agree, a Nation agenda is too broad, and way too Liberal!!

Bill Ewing
Bill Ewing

I am not sure where I stand on this. I do know that allowing students to be taught creationism as if it were science is simply wrong and should not be allowed.

Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas

Communist Core is what this is. We need to put more importance on civics and government classes so people actually know the system and what level of government is best and legally suited to their concerns. It and History should be right there with science, math and grammar. Literature, art, music, PE all important but all those should always bow to history and civics in a nation that uses the Democratic process of elections.

Lorraine O'Dell
Lorraine O'Dell

I haven't read the standards but, yes, I think there needs to be certain educational standards that are national so that a child educated on the east coast can live effectively on the west coast and vice versa. However, I don't think standards should be focused exclusively on the impact on the country's economy. We aren't born to be slaves to the economy, the economy should be designed to serve the citizenry. And, standards should simply be a base-line of what an adult needs to know to be a fully functioning citizen: humanities, math, science, reading, writing, art, music, sports, etc. and functional measures: life skills, reading, writing, basic arithmetic, thinking skills, reasoning, decision-making, etc. I'll have to read the standards.

Bobby Lockhart
Bobby Lockhart

The core isn't socialist. That's completely idiotic. If that's the case, then public school is socialist because it's funded by taxes and is a form of income redistribution. Furthermore, the core aims to reduce regionalism; the idea is that all students receive a quality education regardless of regionalization There's nothing especially educationally sound about regionalization

Brenda Fuller Shriver
Brenda Fuller Shriver

I think they should have standardized main subjects (English, Math, Sciences, etc.,) but make allowances for regional differences.

Lauren Stark
Lauren Stark

In response to argument 4, The entire CCSS is 70 pages but the science section for all three school levels is probably 9 pages. The science reading standards at the high school level fit on to one page.

Leslie Schneider Boen
Leslie Schneider Boen

But I don't subscribe to the view that Common Core is socialist indoctrination. That's typical paranoid tea party stuff.

What I do think is that there should be very broad standards, with teachers getting lots of leeway to teach the individual students they have, in the ways and at the pace that these students work best. Cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all education, using standardized tests as the only measure of success or failure, is lazy, uninspiring, and ultimately ineffective.

Lauren Stark
Lauren Stark

1. The standards are essentially a set of skills/methods of which students interact with the curriculum. They don't replace the state content standards.

Michael Damm
Michael Damm

Yep folks Obama supports common core.....just another reason to know he sucks as President

Leslie Schneider Boen
Leslie Schneider Boen

Agree. I tend to be very liberal but this is one area where I differ with the Dems.

Jo Homer
Jo Homer

go back to basics these kids coming out of school now are not even able to pass a collage entrance exam.they do not know how to even count back correct change with out a calculator they are being trained to pass state and national exams so the state can get thier grant money.no wonder more and more parents are going into home schooling the educational system is horribly lacking

Claudia Dianne Kirby
Claudia Dianne Kirby

I don't want anything to do with anything Obama and his admin. puts into place. I know he heart behind it and it is not for the benefit of any children or families. It is for the benefit of greedy people who want to turn our country into a third world country so they can control us. EVIL

Claudia Dianne Kirby
Claudia Dianne Kirby

I don't want anything to do with anything Obama and his admin. puts into place. I know he heart behind it and it is not for the benefit of any children or families. It is for the benefit of greedy people who want to turn our country into a third world country so they can control us. EVIL

Donna J. Welch Mast
Donna J. Welch Mast

I graduated high school in 1964.....I had one hell of an education - and a public school education at that. I came out of high school with what I would call a 4 year college (by today's standards) education....and I have been very successful with "just" a high school education.....go figure.

Donna J. Welch Mast
Donna J. Welch Mast

I graduated high school in 1964.....I had one hell of an education - and a public school education at that. I came out of high school with what I would call a 4 year college (by today's standards) education....and I have been very successful with "just" a high school education.....go figure.

Ronni Sampson
Ronni Sampson

Common Core is INDOCTRINATION of SOCICALISM on OUR CHILDREN. This MUST BE STOPPED.

Pat Frank
Pat Frank

All but one of the five arguments presented in this article are invalid.

1) Diversity is not a legitimate goal of education.

2) Who pays for education is not relevant to what the content should be.

3) All nations (including the US) already have national standards for education. Not having a standard equates to being a second-rate nation.

4) This is a reasonable argument.

5) Given the way some states behave, top-down education reform is necessary. An example of one misguided top-down effort (NCLB) does not a case make.

Stephen Bone
Stephen Bone

It ignores the Constitutional enumeration on federal powers, which is equally important.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@Sean Campbell what a well thought out argument. #not