Why a Common Core Review is a Strong Move for North Dakota Schools and Students

In an editorial, the Bismarck Tribune states, “A lot of people were happy last week when the state announced it would replace Common Core. The program to track student progress has become a hot-button issue in North Dakota and across the nation.” Arguing that opposition to the Common Core “undercut its credibility,” the editorial board cited implementation issues for much of the backlash.

As we noted earlier this week, Superintendent Baesler is fulfilling her responsibilities as superintendent by launching a new, comprehensive review of the standards that will heavily involve input from North Dakotans. As a reminder. opposition to the Common Core is not a reason to retreat from high standards, nor should it undercut any credibility.

As Fordham Institute President Michael Petrilli has noted, “states that have thus far attempted this effort — replacing Common Core with something even stronger — have found that it is quite difficult to achieve.” And the states that have tried to back away from the standards have found that they’ve invested a lot of time and taxpayer money to create standards that look a lot like the Common Core.

The implementation of new, higher standards doesn’t happen overnight. And North Dakotans should be aware that entirely new standards come with entirely new implementation processes and entirely new challenges. The Bismarck Tribune should take a look at states like Oklahoma that have abandoned high standards for political purposes to see how this has played out in other states.

One thing we do agree on, though, is that “the ultimate goal should be to prepare students for the next step in their lives.” But stepping away from the Common Core and its implementation is not the way to do it.