Correcting the Record: Common Core Has ‘Robbed a Generation’

In an opinion piece published by the Heartland Institute, Peter Ward, president of the National Association of Scholars, claims states have invested too much in Common Core State Standards to get out, and “chances are it has robbed a generation.” “Policymakers and educators must implement a better educational model, a task that will involve repair and restoration.”

In actuality, states adopted Common Core State Standards because they set rigorous, clear learning goals for all students, ensuring more students will get and stay on a path that prepares them for college and careers. An 2010 analysis by the Fordham Institute found Common Core State Standards marked a big improvement over most states’ academic expectations and created greater comparability among states and school districts—giving educators a tool to build on best practices and measure student development.

Implementation has not been perfect. But since adopting the Common Core, states are overwhelmingly sticking with it. Of the 45 states to initially adopt the standards, only one —Oklahoma—has moved to replace the standards with a set of distinctly different learning goals. Instead, states are reviewing, refining and building on the Common Core framework—exactly as the standards were designed.

As Karen Nussle explains, states have weighed the evidence and seen past the rhetoric. They are continuing to implement the Common Core because they set clear, consistent college- and career-ready expectations for students. “Five years after states initiated the creation of Common Core State Standards and voluntarily adopted them, the debate over whether the Standards will survive appears to be settled: Common Core Standards are here to stay.”