Common Core FAQ’s Part 8

Common Core FAQ's Part 8

Common Core FAQ’s Part 8

Question 8: Does the Common Core lead to a national curriculum?

Answer: The consortia receiving millions from the federal government to write standardized assessments for the Common Core are also being paid to produce curriculum guides for their combined 42 member states. The Performance Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium is developing “model instructional units” for teachers, and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) promised to build “curriculum materials…to support states’ transition to the Common Core State Standards.” 11 The efforts of the federal government to develop curriculum models confirm the analysis of two members of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign the standards: the Common Core is “a laudable effort to shape a national curriculum.”12

Implementation instructions for the states written by the authors of the Common Core suggest that a national curriculum is the goal of the standards. NGA recommends that “States and districts… share the costs of developing new curricula and instructional tools and not each develop their own at greater expense for each.”13 The groundwork for a national curriculum is also being laid by groups of states and private organizations—such as the Gates Foundation and Achieve—collaborating to develop common curricula.

11. PARCC Proposal for Supplemental Race to the Top Assessment Award (Performance Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, December 23, 2010) accessed June 11, 2013,; Supplemental Funding Scope: Overview Table (SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, January 16, 2011), accessed June 10, 2013,

12. Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman, “Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade: Why Massachusetts and California Must Regain Control over Their Academic Destinies,” A Pioneer Institute White Paper no. 65 (July 2010): iii, accessed June 11, 2013,

13. Grossman, Reyna, and Shipton, Realizing the Potential, 25.


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