Missouri’s New Education Standards Refine and Build on the Common Core Framework

Missouri’s development of new education standards to “replace” the Common Core was a “farce” and a “half-baked effort to placate an outraged citizenry,” the New American claims. “The dumbed-down, Obama-backed national ‘education’ standards were preserved largely intact, just under a new name…For the sake of American children and the future of the nation, it is past time to step completely out of the dumbed-down ‘education’ system being imposed from Washington, D.C.”

The article claims, as many opponents have disingenuously done, that Common Core State Standards were forced on states by the federal government. In fact, the standards were developed by educators and experts from 49 states and territories. Once completed, 45 states voluntarily adopted the standards.

Adoption of college- and career-ready education standards accounted for less than 10 percent of states’ applications for Race to the Top funds—what the article mischaracterizes as “bribe money.” Nearly half of states adopted and continue to implement the Common Core despite never receiving Race to the Top funds, and several states have dropped out of the testing consortia and have retained Race to the Top funding.

The New American is right that Missouri kept intact much of the Common Core State Standards. That is because, as Karen Nussle and Mike Petrilli have pointed out, it is impossible to create college- and career-ready education standards that also bear no resemblance to the Common Core. A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success notes every state that has pursued the ill-advised repeal-and-replace path has ended up with standards that are nearly identical or inferior to the Common Core.

“Replacing the Common Core State Standards invariably leads to either modest adjustments and renaming—effectively “rebranding” the Common Core (as in both Indiana and South Carolina)—or, academic standards that are inferior to the Common Core (as in Oklahoma)… Meanwhile, most states’ commitment to rigorous college- and career-ready expectations through the Common Core is having a demonstrable lift on schools.”