Heartland Ideas

Common Core

What Is Common Core?
In 2010, every state but Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Nebraska adopted one set of requirements for what K-12 children should know in each grade in math and English language arts (ELA). In 2014-15, these requirements will be enforced with national English and math tests.

Approximately two-thirds of the public do not know about the Common Core mandates for tests and curriculum, but they comprise one of the most comprehensive K-12 efforts. Common Core is essentially the successor to No Child Left Behind, the most comprehensive education law in the nation and the central driver of U.S. education pre-Common Core. 

The lack of knowledge about this massive initiative is troubling, especially because public dialogue on the Common Core is necessary to ensure high quality. Debate sharpens results. Parents whose children will be subject to these new requirements and citizens who will continue paying for these standards, associated tests, and myriad related initiatives deserve to know what these contain and to have had a say in whether states adopt them.

“These standards will form the core curriculum of every public school program, drive another stronger wave of high stakes testing, and thus become student selection criteria for K-12 school programs such as Title I services, gifted and talented programs, high school course placement, and other academic programs,” write a pair of education scholars in a recent journal article. This reinforces the urgency for inspecting these standards.

Main Concerns

More Information
Visit our Common Core information page, view the video synopses below, or go whole hog and do both.

Image by Nomadic Lass.