Share This Post


Common Core Academic Standards Causing Critical Backlash

Common Core Academic Standards Causing Critical Backlash

The recent furor about Colorado’s adoption of the Common Core academic standards has a puzzling sense of deja vu about it.

Wasn’t this debated in 2010? Didn’t the opponents lose?

And weren’t the Colorado Academic Standards, which broadly overlap the Common Core, the subject of a two-year statewide conversation prior to adoption?

The answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes. Colorado has been there and done that.

Given that history and our longstanding support for the new standards, we were glad to see the Colorado Senate education committee on Thursday put an end to an effort to stall implementation of the new standards.

There has been a troubling backlash brewing nationally against the voluntary standards, adopted by 45 states, one that is fueled by a disjointed confluence of interests on the right and left of the political spectrum.

Some believe the core is an effort to undermine CLICK TO READ


Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

Share This Post


  1. This matter is far from settled. Sorry.

    Incidentally, I wonder how much this “conversation” between the “experts” has cost us in terms of energy, time, and money? In my experience as a teacher, there were always plenty of people to tell me how and what to teach who had no idea what actually happened in my classroom. Part of what makes an effective teacher is understanding the actual, flesh and blood students who are sitting in the classroom and responding to their individual needs in a meaningful way.

    As far as Common Core being a guideline of what students should know and when, there wasn’t a huge amount of disagreement. Nearly all of my colleagues discussed our expectations for our students; they were usually in line. It wasn’t a huge concern for us if some students were ahead or behind these expectations PROVIDED that we felt the student was capable and putting forth effort. In that regard, it wasn’t a test made a difference.This is where I see Common Core as a problem. There is no test to measure effort or engagement. Only teachers can do that because they see it every day.

    Maybe we should have taken all of the money, time, and energy and given it to teachers.

    But that would leave consultants, experts, and bureaucrats without something to do.

    This is what we mean by “progress.”

  2. Finally a well thought out criticism of Common Core.
    To everyone else- Standards are what kids should know or be able to do. How a teacher conveys that material IS NOT PART OF THE STANDARDS-NEVER HAS BEEN. You want to get upset that your kid’s teacher said that some people have 2 mommies or 2 daddies? Whatever, that’s your issue, but that has nothing to do with the standards (which BTW- I’m not entirely thrilled with). All those criticisms you throw at the left? They’re the same criticisms teachers had with NCLB, and things like CSAP.

  3. Whenever we see the buzzword “Conversation” when applied to ongoing debates in education it is a red flag that the people who are sure they’re right are patronizing the rest of us citizens. Common Core is not a settled matter just because the “central planners” declare it is. We will keep addressing it not matter how long we are patronized and dismissed by the juggernaut of the Teachers’ unions and the administrators who need their fawning compliance. Don’t dismiss the people who pay your salaries. Common Core is a dangerous joke.

  4. No, nothing is settled these days. A lot of very ill advised “laws of the land” have been pushed through the legislature in the past six years, and partisan laws do not generally make good laws. This is just more of the same.

  5. To Bill the Cat: If one in four Americans think the sun revolves around the sun, three in four know that it doesn’t. We have intelligent, hard-working Americans, and we have Americans who are neither intelligent nor hard-working. The schools reflect the make up of the larger population. As far as the common core standards are concerned, they aren’t much different from the ones we have always had. The biggest difference is the testing, testing, testing that means absolutely nothing to the students themselves. Ask any one of them, and s/he will tell you that those tests do nothing for them. The ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE, AP, IB, etc. tests help them get into colleges, and all of them are completed in three hours plus bubbling time. All the high stakes tests do is demonize schools and teachers. Remember that in America, we test every student; in the countries we are compared with, they test only the academic track. Their teachers aren’t evaluated on the basis of test scores either. When poor students who refuse to attend regularly or to do their work, their poor performance on the tests has no effect at all on them, but it certainly does on their teachers. There are some people who actually have the cockamamie idea that teachers should be paid on the basis of the students’ scores.

  6. I feel that some of the backlash is entirely justified.

    1. The Common Core initiative was spearheaded by governors, national policymakers and the business industry.
    2. Of the 20 or so members of the Common Core initiative – only 2 were educators. One was a Languages Arts expert and the other one was a Mathematics expert (also a Stanford professor).
    3. The 2 educators did vote against the Common Core for 2 fundamental reasons (that have nothing to do with testing or lowering standards): a) they said the standards were too narrow and NOT rigorous enough, and b) they were fearful that implementing the Common Core would take away state and especially local curriculum authority (which it is already doing).
    People who support Common Core can’t really tell you WHY they like it – they haven’t done their due diligence to truly have an informed opinion. As for me I worked with 2 states on writing/revising their state standards to align with the Common Core. One state has already reversed course and reinstated their original standards. The feds will do everything they can to influence the retention and use of the Common Core standards since it gives them a way to hold states hostage through education funding (states lose funding and cannot qualify for Race To The Top funds if they aren’t using Common Core standards).

    And as for using test scores to judge teachers, one should read the independent report, The Proficiency Illusion, which was a study done by (ironically) a testing company, NWEA. They demonstrated how fallible the tests themselves are. The study covered state assessments in 26 states. For example, here in Colorado between math and reading there is a 10% difference in scores when you make relative comparisons between the two content areas. This means that a score of 70% in reading is EQUIVALENT to a score of 60% in math, but when people look at those numbers, they get the (false) impression that students are doing worse in reading than in math, which is not the case. Furthermore, it was found that math scores in 3rd grade are inflated 19% compared to 8th grade math scores, so a 79% in math on the 3rd grade state test is EQUIVALENT to a 60% on the 8th grade state test. It would be wise for people to really dig deeper into standards and testing before forming opinions.

Leave a Reply