What is Common Core?

The Common Core educational ‘standards’ were adopted by Massachusetts through a vote of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in July of 2010 in order to secure $250 million of federal grant money under the Race to the Top initiative.  Unlike the Education Reform Act of 1993 (which led to the MCAS testing), the new Common Core Initiative with PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing was not developed locally or debated in the legislature.  Some education experts are warning that it is a serious step backwards academically for MA and a massive shifting of control from local school districts to the federal government.

If you want an overview, sit back and watch this video, which provides a detailed overview of Common Core, by Dr. Duke Pesta.

The reaction against Common Core is building, not only in the Hamilton Wenham school district, but in school districts across Massachusetts and the country.

Setting the Record Straight

A major think tank in Boston known as the Pioneer institute presents in depth research about Common Core in a two part video series, called “Setting the Record Straight on Common Core“.

In Part One of the series,  Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios talks about the basis for education reform in Massachusetts, and how that state-driven success model differs from Common Core national education standards. He corrects some of the myths about Common Core, drawing on Pioneer Institute’s extensive research to show that the national standards were not state-led, violate three federal lawsand will far exceed cost estimates for implementation.  View Part 1 here,

In Part Two of this series, Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios talks about the mediocre quality of Common Core national education standards, drawing on Pioneer’s extensive research to show that in ELA and math, the national standards will weaken the level of instruction in several states. He also discusses the negative impact that Common Core will have on school choice. View Part 2 here.

For more in depth history about the origins and development of Common Core, view the documentary called Building the Machine.

For more research by the Pioneer Institute, visit  http://pioneerinstitute.org/common-core/

Growing reaction against Common Core

It’s not just parents and teachers who are reacting against Common Core.  This student in Tennessee Speaks Out About Common Core, Teacher Evaluations, and Educational Data.

What is PARCC? (Next Page)


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