As Michigan Examines Their Common Core State Standards, Here are a Few Things to Remember

The Christian Post this week cited Michigan’s recent bill, which would “repeal” Common Core and would prevent schools from using any “national or multistate consortium standards” or assessment moving forward,  as an example of the “Common Core losing steam” – but this is far from the truth.

There a few distinct places where the Christian Post gets it wrong:

  1. The Michigan legislation would reverse the state’s participation in the Common Core State Standards because they are considered “national or multistate consortium standards,” not because – as the article implies – they will fail to improve student outcomes. Evidence overwhelmingly indicates states are already seeing gains. The legislation to try to avoid using similar using college- and career-ready math and ELA standards as another state runs counter to one of the benefits of being a nation made up of separate, cooperating states that share information –- why reinvent the wheel when you can replicate and customize it to your own needs? An analysis by Achieve this year found 26 states significantly closed their “honesty gaps” by implementing rigorous standards and high-quality assessments.
  1. The article cites a recent Brookings Institution report by Tom Loveless, which we have rebutted here. While Loveless argues that Common Core “has already had its best years and additional gains will be difficult to attain,” we know that it’s too early to attribute any changes in student performance to Common Core.
  1. It continues with a mention of the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education and the research brief they released in February expressing concerns about their state’s Common Core standards (which we’ve also corrected here). The brief argues that Common Core “deprofessionalizes teaching and narrows the curriculum” and “reduces the quality of education and student learning, engagement and success.” But educators and administrators from across the country say otherwise. A Harvard University study released last month found teachers and principals “have largely embraced the new standards.” Nearly three-quarters of teachers reported they had embraced Common Core State Standards “quite a bit” or “fully,” as did a majority of principals.

Fortunately, the Christian Post article quotes Dr. Andrea Ramirez, executive director of the Faith and Education Coalition or the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition. She aptly points out: “State and local officials continue to refine standards to ensure they meet students’ needs — exactly as the Common Core Standards were originally intended. But the fact remains it continues to prove impossible to produce a set of rigorous K-12 Math and English standards that bear no resemblance to the Common Core.”

Common Core State Standards are not losing steam. In fact, zero states have passed full-scale repeal so far in this legislative session, marking the second consecutive year in which states have chosen to continue to implement high, consistent standards for their students.