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