DeVos Explains Why Dept. of Education Has Moved on From “Common Core”


On Monday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was asked by Fox News’ Bill Hemmer to clarify the Trump administration’s position on the Common Core State Standards.

“There isn’t really any Common Core anymore, and each state is able to set the standards for their state,” Secretary DeVos replied. “The Every Student Succeeds Act, which is in the process of being implemented now, essentially does away with the whole argument about Common Core.”

Secretary DeVos is correct. As our Executive Director Jim Cowen has mentioned before, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) forbids the federal government from pressuring states to use (or not use) any specific standards or assessments so there is nothing for the Dept. of Education to act on. States are on their own when it comes to academic standards. Accordingly, most have reviewed their standards in the past few years, amended and adjusted them where needed and have laid the issue to rest.

Secretary DeVos’ answers today echo past statements on this matter: that states are moving past the unnecessarily politicized debate around the Common Core State Standards – and we all should too.

See the full transcript of her response to the Common Core question below:

See also our past memo from Jim Cowen: “Secretary DeVos and States Move Past the Politicized Debate over Standards”