Reimagining Education

Common Core implementation can’t be taken for granted

Several bills that have surfaced in state legislatures across the country serve as an important reminder that although there are many states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), implementation can’t be taken for granted. Missouri is no exception– just this past week, bills that propose to repeal Missouri’s adoption of CCSS were heard in Senate and House committees.

The good news is that the opposition is being met head on from a variety of CCSS supporters including parents, teachers, administrators, and even business leaders.

Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute recently weighed in on Missouri’s debate over the CCSS, urging lawmakers to stay the course for four reasons:

  1. First, the Common Core State Standards are significantly stronger than the Missouri standards they replaced.
  2. Second, [Missouri has] already invested time and money into implementing the new standards. They have momentum. Calling for a do-over would waste the millions of man hours already invested—and potentially cost the state of Missouri more money than proceeding with the Common Core.
  3. Third, it’s doubtful that returning to [Missouri’s] old standards would put Missouri on a path toward higher student achievement. Regrettably, over the past two decades, Missouri has made some of the smallest gains in the country on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. [Missouri needs] a different way forward.Fourth, if [Missouri decides] to opt out of the Common Core, [the state] will be opting  teachers and students out of an opportunity to participate in the incredible wave of innovation that these standards are unleashing. It’s as if the whole world is moving to smart phones and tablets while [Missouri is] sticking with a rotary.
  4. Fourth, if [Missouri decides] to opt out of the Common Core, [the state] will be opting  teachers and students out of an opportunity to participate in the incredible wave of innovation that these standards are unleashing. It’s as if the whole world is moving to smart phones and tablets while [Missouri is] sticking with a rotary.

You can read the entirety of Petrilli’s testimony here. (Note: Petrilli was unable to give his testimony as scheduled, but it was still distributed to lawmakers)

Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, also submitted a letter to Missouri legislators in support of the CCSS:

The Common Core standards are rigorous, fewer and deeper. They will challenge students to read, write and solve math problems at greater depth, raise the bar for all students and better prepare them for the global economy. The standards do not dictate what textbooks must be used or how a school corporation’s curriculum should be set up, but they will result in better assessments to gauge whether students are where they need to be. 

Read the rest of Levesque’s letter here.

Policymakers in Missouri and beyond are often faced with tough decisions that will impact the quality of education available for kids, but the decision about whether to stay the course on Common Core State Standards should not be one of these tough decisions. It is clear that implementation of the Common Core State Standards is a critical step toward providing all Missouri kids with a quality education now, and that Common Core is Common Sense for Missouri.

 

 

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