‘Review’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Repeal’: Inaccurate Reporting Mischaracterizes States’ Commitment to Common Core State Standards

A recent Education World article asserts, “2015 became the year that Arkansas decided to move away from the Common Core.” It goes further to claim that “many states will be accessing or re-doing state standards to rely less on Common Core and aligned tests.” Both statements mischaracterize states’ efforts to ensure high, consistent education standards are meeting their students’ needs

In its report to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Council on Common Core Review explicitly recommends that the state review its current education standards “with the goal of revising, improving and replacing, as warranted.” (Emphasis added) It continues, the state should “maintain the current CCSS until changes, revisions and improvements to the standards are implemented.”    

Across the country, many states are following a similar path—reviewing and building on the Common Core framework to ensure their standards meet student needs. Common Core State Standards represent a basic level of broadly agreed upon benchmarks for instruction. They are a floor, not a ceiling. And they were absolutely designed to allow states to tweak, amend, and generally customize them in order to meet local needs.

Despite a 75 percent increase in the number of bills related to college- and career-readiness last year, zero states passed a full-scale repeal of the Common Core. Instead, in 2015 three states (TN, LA, NJ) initiated reviews that, like Arkansas, will likely result in little-to-no meaningful deviation from the Common Core. That resiliency is attributable to parents’, teachers’ and the public’s support for high, consistent academic standards that fully prepare students for college and careers.