Common Core State Standards “Eking Out Its Last Gasps”? Not Even Close.
“Common Core is dead,” proclaims Joy Pullman of the Heartland Institute in the Federalist. “It’s already clear this education monstrosity is eking out its last gasps… Common Core’s failure should indict every single Common Core cheerleader and prompt a revival of genuine education reforms we’ve known for decades would actually help children.”
It’s hard to see how Pullman arrives at her position when in fact Common Core State Standards are alive and well, and having a big impact, at the state and local level. Despite concerted attacks, even many of the most conservative-leaning states have rejected repeal-and-replace efforts. Instead, most states are reviewing the standards and building on them further—exactly as they were designed.
Pullman cites a recent Brookings study by Tom Loveless as evidence of Common Core’s failure. However, Loveless openly claims that the two years’ worth of data used are not nearly enough to determine any sort of trend, and cautions that it is too soon to make such a leap. The “analysis does not investigate whether changes in particular practices have caused gains or losses in student achievement. The practices examined here are simply being used as markers for indicating the degree to which CCSS recommendations have penetrated schools and classrooms,” Loveless explains.
His findings are not an indicator of the success or failure of the Common Core State Standards. In fact, most experts would agree that it’s too soon to know for sure how Common Core State Standards are affecting student achievement.
Additionally, a wealth of evidence does show states are raising classroom expectation through the implementation of Common Core State Standards. An analysis by Achieve this year finds most states have closed their discrepancies between self-reported proficiency rates and those identified by NAEP, giving parents a more accurate snapshot of how well prepare for college and careers their children are.
Likewise, a Harvard University study finds “45 states have raised their standards for student proficiency in reading and math” since most began implementing Common Core Standards. “Now, in the wake of the Common Core campaign, a majority of states have made a dramatic move forward,” the report states. “The Common Core consortium has achieved one of its key policy objectives: the raising of state proficiency standards throughout much of the United States.”
That doesn’t sound like an education initiative that’s “eking out its last gasps” to us.