The Associated Press last week confirmed what we already knew most of the Common Core “repeals” states have done have been a complete sham.
Of the states that opted in after the standards were introduced in 2010 — 45 plus the District of Columbia — only eight have moved to repeal the standards, largely due to political pressure from those who saw Common Core as infringing on local control, according to Abt, a research and consulting firm. In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill to repeal the standards in 2014 less than six months after defending them in a speech. She said Common Core had become too divisive.
Twenty-one other states have made or are making revisions — mostly minor ones — to the guidelines. Illinois kept the wording while changing the name. In April, North Dakota approved new guidelines “written by North Dakotans, for North Dakotans,” but some educators said they were quite similar to Common Core. Earlier this month, New York moved to revise the standards after parents protested new tests aligned to Common Core, but much of the structure has been kept.
“The core of the Common Core remains in almost every state that adopted them,” said Mike Petrilli, president of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Then they note Common Core has not lived up to its promise.
Measuring the direct impact of Common Core is difficult. A study last year by the Brown Center on Education Policy with the Brookings Institution showed that adopters of Common Core initially outperformed their peers, but those effects faded. It’s also unclear if the gains were caused specifically by Common Core.
“I think it was much ado about nothing,” said Tom Loveless, the author of the report. “It has some good elements, some bad elements. Common Core nets out to be a non-event in terms of raising student achievement.”
Petrilli, who advocated for Common Core, is convinced the standards resulted in more rigor and better tests.
“We are now following a much better recipe for student achievement, but the cake is still being baked, so we don’t yet know if it’s going to taste as good as we hope,” Petrilli said.
In my opinion, Tom Loveless has more credibility than Michael Petrilli on this subject. Common Core has certainly been “a non-event in terms of raising student achievement” and an expensive one at that.
Bill Gates has said that we won’t know for at least ten years whether or not the reforms he has championed will work. That’s a long time to bake a cake and too much is at stake to get it wrong.