Myth vs. Facts
MYTH- The adoption of Common Core Standards is resulting in the establishment of mandatory federal standards for K-12 school in America.
FACT- State boards of education or state lawmakers determine whether the states they represent join or withdraw from the petition. Participation is strictly voluntary. The federal government was not involved in the creation of Common Core Standards.
MYTH- Common Core Standards are meant to dictate which texts teachers use to educate their students.
FACT- Common Core Standards simply outline what students should know upon completion of each grade. The standards do not suggest methods teachers should use to educate their students, or which materials they should utilize while doing so. Local principals, teachers, and school boards in the states will continue to make these decisions on their own.
MYTH- The presence of Common Core Standards results in less innovation in state and local curricula.
FACT- Because the standards are more focused than previous state standards, teachers and localities actually have more flexibility to be creative and responsive to community priorities and individual students.
MYTH- Common Core dictates the process for evaluating teachers.
FACT- Only states decide how to evaluate teacher, principals, and other educators.
MYTH- Many states only adopted Common Core Standards to qualify for new grants being offered by the federal government.
FACT- States across the country adopted Common Core Standards because they recognized the clear need to improve their education systems and better prepare America’s students for college. Besides, the adoption of common core standards played only a minor role in the government’s decision-making as it granted allocations to various states across the country. Twenty-three states who adopted Common Core Standards were not awarded grants, and a state’s decision to adopt Common Core made up just 8% of its score under the federal application for education grants. (SOURCE: American Principles Project Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- Educators and parents in the states were left out of the creative process while Common Core’s standards were being created.
FACT- Nearly 10,000 comments from a variety of people around the country helped create Common Core’s standards, and state legislators retain the right to implement those standards as they see fit. All states received at least four proposed drafts of the standards during the process and had the opportunity to provide their input. (SOURCE: American Principles Project Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- The Common Core Standards are owned by private entities which cannot be influenced by the public.
FACT- The Common Core Standards are owned by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These groups are both made up of state officials who are accountable to the public.
MYTH- Charter schools, private schools, religious schools and homeschooling are required to follow these standards.
FACT- As they have in the past, private, faith-based and home schools will continue to have flexibility on how and what they teach, as long as it comports with state guidelines. (SOURCE: Phyllis Schlafly’s Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- Common Core enables government agencies to gather private information on school children, in violation of federal laws.
FACT- The federal government does not have access to student-level information stored in state databases. Common Core has nothing to do with federal data collection. In fact, states are required by state and federal law to protect the privacy of their students.
MYTH- Previous educational standards that were set by states tend to be higher than Common Core’s Standards.
FACT- A Thomas B. Fordham Institute study found that “the K-12 academic standards in English language arts (ELA) and math produced in June 2010 by the Common Core State Standards Initiative were clearer and more rigorous than ELA standards in 37 states and math standards in 39 states.” It also stated that “in 33 of those states, the Common Core bested both ELA and math standards.” (SOURCE: Foundation for Excellence in Education)
MYTH- Previous standards sufficiently prepared U.S. students for Math.
FACT- American students lag well behind other locales in math, failing to place in the top 20 in recent tests by the Program for International Student Assessment, which collects results from 65 countries around the world. American students ranked “below average” among developed countries. Math scores in Shanghai, which scored highest in the world in math, reveal that Shanghai students are, essentially, two years ahead of math students in America’s strongest state in math (Massachusetts).
MYTH- Previous standards sufficiently prepared U.S. students for English.
FACT- Students in 19 locales placed higher than American students in reading. American students have dropped in the world’s reading rankings since 2009, when they placed 11th in the world.
MYTH- Common Core Standards do not reflect higher standards than the standards they replaced.
FACT- Dr. William Schmidt, a Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and expert on international mathematics performance, studied this question and found that Common Core’s standards “resemble the standards of the highest-achieving nations and have more focus, coherence and rigor than most of the state standards they replaced.” He also noted that no American state’s math standards were as close a match to the standards of countries that outperform the United States as Common Core’s are (there is a 90% consistency rate). (SOURCE: Foundation for Excellence in Education)
MYTH- Common Core Standards do little more than prepare students for entry-level and low-level jobs.
FACT- High school graduates were told they were on track for college level work. Yet according to a 2011 ACT study, just one in four American students who graduate high school are ready for college. Only 52% of graduates were prepared for college level reading courses, 45% were ready for college level math courses. In fact, only about half of students entering college finish any degree within 6 years. Common Core’s higher standards will help ensure students are better prepared to succeed in college, and in turn, better prepared for the workforce upon graduating college. (SOURCE: Foundation for Excellence in Education; National Student Clearinghouse: Research Center)
MYTH- The effect Common Core Standards will have on American students is unknown because they have never been field tested.
FACT- International standards were used as benchmarks during Common Core’s development process. Common Core’s standards rank favorable compared to other countries, as proven by Dr. William Schmidt, a Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and expert on international mathematics performance who conducted a study on the issue. Dr. Schmidt found that Common Core’s standards “resemble the standards of the highest-achieving nations, and that they have more focus, coherence and rigor than most of the state standards they replaced.” He also noted that no American state’s math standards were as close a match to the standards of countries that outperform the United States as Common Core’s are (there is a 90% consistency rate). (SOURCE: Foundation for Excellence in Education)
MYTH- Implementing Common Core will cost each state over $15 billion.
FACT-This number, presumably, originated with an Accountability Works study, which actually found that the estimated combined cost for all participating states over a seven year period will be around $15 billion.
MYTH- Suggested readings include a sales talk for government health care, global warming and Fidel Castro.
FACT- The Common Core Standards never mention any of these people or issues. (SOURCE: Phyllis Schlafly’s Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- Common Core Standards can never be changed.
FACT- States are encouraged to aim higher than the Common Core’s recommended standards, and to achieve those goals through innovative means. Currently, eleven states have established higher standards than Common Core’s, while various other states have stated that they plan to do so. Also, states may opt out of the petition whenever they wish to. (SOURCE: Phyllis Schlafly’s Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- There was only one math content expert involved in reviewing the Common Core Standards, and he withheld his approval for the standards.
FACT- There were eight experts on the Common Core Validation Committee, and six endorsed the standards. There were over 70 experts on the development team for the math standards. (SOURCE: Phyllis Schlafly’s Claim v. Fact)
MYTH- Boards of education across the country approved Common Core Standards without state legislative approval.
FACT- In most states, state law or the state constitution designates these decisions to the state board of education. Like elected legislators, state boards of education are accountable to constituents whether they are elected directly or appointed by a governor.