Setting the Record Straight on Common Core State Standards:
BACKGROUND: Recently, Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum and a respected conservative leader and author, authored an opinion piece for Townhall.com, detailing her criticisms of the Common Core State Standards. The Foundation for Excellence in Education greatly respects Ms. Schlafly, but her claims on these higher standards are not accurate. As it is important to set the record straight on this important education reform initiative, below is a point-by-point look at the claims versus facts in Ms. Schlafly’s piece:
Claim: “Common Core means federal control of school curriculum, i.e., control by Obama administration left-wing bureaucrats.”
- Common Core State Standards are not a national mandate or a national curriculum. States voluntarily chose whether or not to adopt the standards and retain full authority for implementation, preventing the possibility of a federal takeover. State leaders, accountable to their constituents, can withdraw their states from the standards at any time.
Claim: “Federal control will replace all curriculum decisions by state and local school boards, state legislatures, parents and even Congress because Obama bypassed Congress by using $4 billion of Stimulus money to promote Common Core.”
- Common Core State Standards define what students need to know; they do not dictate how teachers should teach or how students should learn. That decision is left to each state. Common Core does not dictate what lesson plans, programs, or textbooks teachers will use for curriculum. Local teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards will continue to make important decisions about curriculum and how their school systems are operated.
- The standards will actually help preserve freedom for curriculum choice. Because every state’s standards are currently different, the test and textbook publishers now have the upper hand and currently drive the market when it comes to pricing and available products. Common Core will put the customers – states and districts – back in charge and allow them access to better products, more…