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Concerns Grow About Common Core Standards



Gregory Dymshits, a full-time research biologist, teaches a genetics lesson at a special school for advanced science and math students. (Photo: Jim Ketsdever/KRT/Newscom)

Concerns Grow About Common Core Standards
Brittany Corona/ March 12, 2015

“If you came to college with only an Algebra II background and you wanted to major in a STEM area, you have a 1/50 chance— a 2 percent chance— of ever obtaining a degree in STEM… This level of preparation is simply insufficient,” said Milgram.

According to Education Week, teachers also are struggling with how to teach to the Common Core math standards.

“Each standard has so many ideas built into it, you really have to sit down and think through all the implications of that,” said math teacher Bobson Wong. “I could easily make each of these courses a two-year course.”

And recently, reports surfaced that the Common Core architects left what some consider holes in the standards.

Richard A. Askey, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former member of the math standards’ feedback group, later noticed an omission of a geometry standard in Common Core. In fact, according to Education Week, Askey said “the process toward the end was so hurried that an entire high school standard was left out of the final draft.”

“There’s no formal mechanism in place for a wholesale review of the common core, but it’s likely that states will—as they always have—review their standards at times and decide whether they need to be altered,” the Education Week article said.

When Common Core was created in 2009 by Achieve Inc., with oversight from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, its adoption immediately was tied to federal incentives through billions in competitive grants and waivers from provisions in the No Child Left Behind law.

By 2010, 46 states had signed on to the standards and agreed to implement them fully by this school year. Over the last two years, states have begun to realize the costs of quickly signing on to Common Core. By 2015, 15 of the original 46 states that agreed to Common Core have made efforts to withdraw from the standards and aligned tests. Four exited the standards completely—Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana.

The haste of Common Core’s adoption is felt across the nation—but the extent is not yet realized. The alignment of college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT, and advanced placement courses cause concern over the “voluntary” nature of the standards.

Yet, there is still hope. Many states are putting forth measures to reclaim autonomy over their standards and are beginning to practice competitive federalism, thoughtfully considering their state standards, Common Core and other state standards to make a set of standards and tests that are best for their students’ college or career readiness.


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