USA TODAY: Who invented the Common Core?

Answering reader questions, national education writer Greg Toppo explains the origins of the Common Core.

“Common Core was actually created mostly by teachers,” Toppo says, “and it’s been a long time coming.” Noting several presidents have suggested higher, consistent education standards, in 2007 the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association “got together to get this effort going.” “It took about two years to create the actual standards…and by 2009, just about all the states had adopted them,” Toppo says, adding more than 40 states continue to still use the standards. Acknowledging controversy has emerged, particularly over math techniques and “crazy lessons,” the video explains such examples “were attributed to Common Core but really weren’t.” In fact such examples are “created by teachers locally or within a state who thought they were complying with Common Core.”

The video explains that contrary to claims the Common Core was developed by federal authorities, the standards were created by teachers and education experts under the leadership of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. Like other experts including former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, Toppo points out that confusing problems attributed to the Common Core aren’t indicative of the standards but most often written by local educators. As Toppo points out, most states continue to use the Common Core or some nearly identical version because as experts explain: “It is virtually impossible to produce a set of K-12 academic standards that bear no resemblance to Common Core, and that adequately prepare students for college and career.