In the letter to the Vineland Daily Journal, Antonina Penna claims, “Common Core is nothing more than profit-driven. Pearson is raking billions of dollars off taxpayers…It’s not about education. It never was. Follow the money.”
Penna’s argument conflates Common Core State Standards with assessments, which are chosen by state and local authorities. The Common Core is not a testing regime and was not started by Pearson.
A post by the Collaborative for Student Success this spring explains: “Common Core is not a test. [It] is a set of academic standards. Every state has academic standards that they use to guide their curriculum development (which happens at the state or district level).”
States are free to choose their student assessments. In New Jersey, officials picked PARCC—which, research has shown, is one of the strongest exams available.
Independent research by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute find PARCC assessments outperformed many states’ old “bubble tests” and other high-quality assessments like ACT Aspire and the MCAS. The studies note PARCC closely measures the core content of states’ education standards; align with good classroom instruction; and are both rigorous and age-appropriate.
“Parent should resist the siren song of those who want to use this moment of truth to attack the Common Core or associated tests,” Mike Petrilli wrote last fall. “They may not be perfect, but they are finally giving parents, educators and taxpayers an honest assessment of how our students are doing.”