Common Core FAQ’s Part 11

Common Core FAQ's Part 11

Common Core FAQ’s Part 11

Question #11: Who supports the Common Core and why?

Answer: The support of liberals such as Joel Stein (former chancellor of the New York City Schools) and Michelle Rhee (former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools) for the Common Core is not surprising. But several prominent conservatives are also backing the Common Core.

Supporters of the Common Core such as Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Fordham Institute, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie contend that the Common Core will rebuild state standards that crumbled under the No Child Left Behind Act.20 However, almost no independent evaluations of the Common Core by education experts have praised the academic rigor of the standards.

Backers also use the mobility argument, summarized by the NGA: “When a student moves from Utah (a member state of SBAC) to Arizona (a member state of PARCC), parents and teachers need to be confident that the understanding about a student’s knowledge and skills gleaned from the state test means the same thing in both places.” 21 A devastating flaw in this argument is that it banks on the unstated premise of a national curriculum: gaps in education when a student transfers from a school in Vermont to a school in Texas can only be avoided if the same things are being taught at the same time across the entire nation.

The final argument—standardization—hinges on the premise that one textbook, or just a few aligned with the Common Core, would be an improvement over the numerous and varied textbooks available today. William Bennett, secretary of education under Ronald Reagan and founder of K12 Online Learning, adds a sociological component to the standardization argument by presuming that the common knowledge imparted by the Common Core will lead to more fervent national discussions.22

21. Grossman, Reyna, and Shipton, Realizing the Potential.17.

22. William Bennett, “A National at Risk’ 30 Years Later: The State of American Education,” Thomas B. Fordham Institute, April 26, 2013, accessed June 12, 2013, htt;://


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