Is Common Core Developmentally Appropriate? Experts Say Yes  

In a blog published by Huffington Post, John Fager, a teacher and parent, claims that Common Core State Standards are a “major experiment” that is damaging children. “The problems with the Common Core are especially severe in the early grades. For example, ‘many children are not developmentally ready to read in kindergarten, yet the Common Core State Standards require them to do just that,’ (p. 1).”

Contrary to Fager’s claim that Common Core State Standards, the Common Core was developed with significant input from K-3 teachers and early childhood professionals. The standards are deemed appropriately rigorous to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce and the challenges of higher education. In fact, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in States issued a joint statement publicly expressing their support for the Standards.

States adopted Common Core because the standards set rigorous, clear learning goals for all students, ensuring that more students will get and stay on a path that prepares them for college and careers. A 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.

While the implementation process has not been perfect, states are overwhelmingly sticking with it. Instead of a large scale rejection of the Common Core, as many opponents predicted, states are overwhelmingly reviewing, refining and building on them. In fact, 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.

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 State Standards are here to stay.”