A Few Common Core Reports

Many people have expressed concerns about whether the Common Core standards will actually improve student performance.

Over the past year, I have communicated with the SC Dept. of Education and have researched the subject. The following are a few of the any reports that caught my eye.

The first is a report from Brookings Institute, generally a left leaning organization, that calls into question how effective Common Core will really be. See the Discussion on page 12 of the following:

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/newsletters/0216_brown_education_loveless.pdf

The second is a report from the Pioneer Institute which questions the effect of Common Core on English Language standards. Though it is long, the executive summary has a good synopsis of their position.

http://pioneerinstitute.org/education/new-study-suggests-remedies-for-common-core-literature-deficit/

The third is from the Heritage Foundation, a right leaning organization, which opposes Common Core. It is short and self-explanatory.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/12/questionable-quality-of-the-common-core-english-language-arts-standards

The data in these reports reinforces my opposition to Common Core. Beyond being a costly bureaucratic nightmare to implement and an unneeded intrusion of the federal government into a state matter, Common Core’s guidelines appear to sanitize our curriculum, especially in language arts. This was brought to my attention when I read that titles such as To Kill A Mockingbird (a book especially relevant to us in the South) would no longer be covered – replaced by how to read computer manuals and such.

Over the course of the past year, I had several email exchanges with Superintendent Mick Zais’ office about Common Core. We discussed how it was adopted with little discussion when Jim Rex and Mark Sanford were in office. I believe this fact makes Common Core a bi-partisan issue.

The bottom line that I gleaned from them: What do we replace it with, how do we pay for it and will it interrupt Federal funding? I asked him for advice on how to formulate a bill, but never received any detailed recommendations.

We need to force the Dept. of Education to present us with alternative standards options and the costs to implement.

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