Heartland Institute Education Expert to Testify Tomorrow in State Senate on Common Core

May 14, 2013

Joy Pullmann, a research fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute, will provide expert testimony on the Common Core Wednesday, May 15 at 1 p.m. before the Pennsylvania State Senate’s Education Committee. 

The hearing, chaired by Republican Sen. Mike Folmer, will explore the pros and cons of implementing a national curriculum via Common Core standards.

Pullmann is among the nation’s leading experts on Common Core, speaking before audiences and providing testimony in several states. She is the author of the recent Heartland Institute Policy Brief titled “The Common Core: A Poor Choice For States.”

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education adopted a revised version of the Common Core, which sets education standards for the state’s students. In addition to setting these standards, the revised version of Pennsylvania’s Common Core also will require school districts to provide the state a plan outlining how they will administer the standards.

Proponents of Common Core contend it will help improve student achievement, allowing teachers and administrators to better track student performance. Pullmann, a critic of Common Core, will point to the lack of evidence supporting the idea that Common Core has benefitted students anywhere in the world. She also will testify about the detriments of Common Core’s stifling of local school districts’ ability to control their respective curriculums. According to Pullmann, “standards function like a table of contents for curriculum. While standards do not technically constitute a curriculum, they certainly define one.”

“Even if Common Core and standards had a good track record, what we know about standards demonstrates Common Core is academically mediocre,” Pullmann says in her prepared remarks. “Education leaders bought a pile of shiny labels for Common Core, which include ‘rigorous,’ ‘college- and career-ready,’ and ‘internationally benchmarked.’ The evidence shows this is simply not true.”

Pullmann, who is managing editor of School Reform News, has written extensively on Common Core and other matters concerning education reform, with pieces published in the New York TimesNational ReviewWashington Examiner, and many other outlets.


The Heartland Institute is a 29-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. To speak to Joy Pullmann, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/377-4000or (cell) 312/731-9364. Contact Pullmann directly at jpullmann@heartland.org.