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The Common Core: A Bad Choice for America
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The Heartland Institute has been at the forefront of pushing back on Common Core education standards—a Washington-led scheme to take away the long-held control of curriculum from states, school boards, teachers, and parents. Our effort is led by Joy Pullmann, research fellow for education policy and managing editor of School Reform News.
Common Core State Standards for K-12 schools were adopted with little public debate by every state but Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia in 2010, part of the price of getting federal dollars under the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” program. Now educators, parents, and policymakers are taking a closer look at what they agreed to, and many don’t like what they see.
In this Heartland Institute Policy Brief (PDF), Pullmann reveals some major weaknesses of Common Core. The program represents a major centralization of control over curriculum, contrary to the American tradition of decentralized control and funding. Instead of being “world class,” the standards represent a significant step back from what experts say are the standards America really needs.
No wonder many states are now holding hearings on whether to back out of the Common Core project. Click here for Pullmann's latest report on Common Core in a standard 8-1/2 x 11 Policy Brief format, or click here for an alternative format for printing as a booklet (print on 8-1/2 x 11 paper, double-sided, folded) to share with friends. (Note: If you are printing double-sided, please be sure to instruct your printer to have it open on the SHORT side, not the long side.)
Testimony before state legislatures:
- Alaska: Testimony / Audio
- Arkansas: Testimony / Audio
- Michigan: Testimony / Video
- Oklahoma (why Common Core is central planning): Testimony / Video
- Pennsylvania (pertinent information for all PARCC states): Testimony / Video
- Wisconsin (pertinent information for all Smarter Balanced states): Testimony / Video
- A one-page tip sheet of basic information, arguments, and talking points.
- Policy Brief: A 5-page backgrounder, with evidence, on each of the major points of controversy.
- "Common Core Science Standards," short background and information paper.
- Common Core Fact vs. Fiction: a PowerPoint with basic background information and supporting links.
Rebuttals and Op-Eds
- "It Doesn't Take a Tinfoil Hat to Critique Common Core," response to Kathleen Porter-Magee and Sol Stern on National Review Online.
- "Common Core Fairy Tales": A reply to Sol Stern and Joel Klein's Wall Street Journal op-ed.
- "Education Department Helps Leak Students' Personal Data," Washington Examiner.
- "States Should Move Swiftly to Protect Student Data," Orange County Register.
- Video of Joy giving a basic overview of Common Core in one hour.
- Joy and Lindsey Burke at the Conservative Women's Network luncheon at the Heritage Foundation, video giving a brief Common Core overview and strategy session with ways parents and teachers can continue to make their voices heard.
- How Common Core is inseparable from data-mining on children.
- "Five People Wrote 'State-Led' Common Core," School Reform News
- "‘State-Led’ Common Core Pushed by Federally Funded Nonprofit," School Reform News
- "Alabama Common Core Tests May Examine Kids’ Motivation, Behavior," School Reform News
- "Education Policies Led by Gates, Not States?" School Reform News
- "Unwritten Tests Present Major Common Core Obstacle," School Reform News
- "Sen. Grassley: Stop Federal Funds, Coercion on Common Core," School Reform News
- "Tax-Sponsored Common Core Meetings Closed to Public," School Reform News
Heartland's Common Core Podcasts:
- Richard Innes: Schools, Data-Mining, and Invasions of Privacy, May 2013
- Joy Pullmann: What Parents Think About Common Core, April 19, 2013
- James Shuls: Common Core Ruined My Son's Math, January 28, 2013
- Joy Pullmann: The Common Core Standards, May 23, 2013
- Vern Williams: A Teacher's Thoughts on the Common Core, December 14, 2012
- Stanley Kurtz: Obama's Education Takeover
- Sol Stern: A Conservative Defends the Common Core, August 17, 2012
- Lindsey Burke: NCLB Waivers, Virginia, and the Common Core, July 6, 2012
- Common Core Calamity in California: An interview with the Hoover Institution's Bill Evers, July 29, 2010
- Common Core Standards: An interview with Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation, June 23, 2010
Watch Joy Pullmann speak about Common Core at an event with the Heritage Foundation on July 5, 2013: