Policy Documents

How Common Core's Standards Have Begun to Damage the School Curriculum

Sandra Stotsky –
April 17, 2012

In this document for Heritage, Sandra Stotsky critiques the common core standards.  In the normal course of events, development of standards leads to development of school curricula. Tests are then developed because they must be based on what students have been taught (or expected to have been taught). The Common Core initiative chose to short-circuit this rational process.

In anticipation of common tests based on the Common Core standards in mathematics and English language arts, states that adopted these standards have begun to require teachers to address them in their classrooms because they think the process outlined in the first two sentences is taking place. However, just in trying to address the Common Core standards in English language arts, teachers are beginning to damage the academic nature of the school curriculum.