Common Core FAQ’s Part 12

Common Core FAQ's Part 12

Common Core FAQ’s Part 12:

Question #12: Who opposes the Common Core and why?

Answer: Education professionals, policy analysts, and government officials center their critiques of the Common Core on four points.

First, the standards are academically deficient. Three of five members of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to validate the standards have published reports condemning their academic merit. One of the reports concludes that the Common Core English Language Arts standards do not make students “college-and career-ready,” arguing that the lack of literary material required by the standards does “not ensure …sufficient literary and cultural knowledge for authentic college-level work.” 23 It also examines the Common Core mathematics standards, concluding that the Common Core leaves students one or two years behind the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s recommendations, the requirements of some states, and the standards of leading countries by students’ 8th-grade year.24

The second argument against the Common Core is that the standards will not repair the broken education system. Brookings Institute policy analyst Grover Whitehurst observes that high academic standards and high student achievement are not connected.25 Statistics show that states with high academic standards score about the same on standardized assessments as states with low standards.26

Third, critics of the Common Core condemn the way the standards are being implemented. Randi Weingarten, president of the second largest teachers’ union in America, and Diane Ravitch, an education historian who has pushed for national standards for years, criticize the government’s use of RTTT funding to coerce states into adopting the Common Core.27 Critics also point out that states will have a difficult time shouldering the cost of implementing the Common Core. While estimates for implementing the program range from $12 to $16 billion, the federal government has given states only $4.35 billion.28

Finally, members of Congress, U.S. senators, and the Republican National Committee oppose the Common Core because it has handed the education authority of the states to the federal government. Lawmakers have raised concerns about the Department of Education’s unilateral revision of FERPA, its push for expanded state longitudinal data systems, and its close involvement in Common Core implementation.

23. Stotsky and Wurman, “Common Core’s Standards.” 25.

24. Ibid., iii.

25. Grover J. Whitehurst, “Don’t Forget Curriculum,” Brookings Institute, October 2009, accessed June 13, 2013, http://www.brookingsedu/research/papers/2009/10-14-curriculum-whitehurst.

26. Mapping 2005 State Proficiency Standards onto the NAEP Scales (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007), accessed June 13, 2013,; Sheila Byrd Carmichael et al., The State of State Standards—and the Common Core—in 2010 (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2012), 3, accessed June 12, 2013, -the-common-core-in-2010.html.

27. Randi Weingarten, “Common Core: Do What It Takes before High Stakes,” Huffington Post, May 19, 2013, accessed June 13, 2013,; Diane Ravitch, “Why I oppose the Common Core Standards,” Washington Post, February 2, 2013, accessed June 7, 2013,

28. Patrick Murphy and Eliot Regenstein, Putting a Price Tag on the Common Core: How Much Will Smart Implementation Cost? (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2012); Accountability Works, “National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards.” A Pioneer Institute White Paper no. 82 (February 2012).


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