Biggest Common Core Pros and Cons

Published November 6, 2012


  • Discourages self-centered, weak writing; encourages grounding arguments in evidence.
  • Encourages classic works over young adult popular fiction.
  • Reading research shows children need broad background information; Core emphasizes “informational text.”
  • Significant emphasis on source documents.
  • Requires more than previous state standards except in California, Indiana, and Massachusetts.
  • Provides course alignment across teachers, grades, and nearly all states.


  • States can only add to the standards, not alter them.
  • Eliminates algebra before 9th grade. Provides students no accelerated path.
  • Requires English teachers to explain “informational text” and historical documents they are not trained to teach.
  • Already being used to promote “fuzzy math” in some areas.
  • The draft science standards endorse Darwinian evolution and manmade catastrophic climate change as fact.
  • Requires specific percentages of fiction and nonfiction, starting more even and ending with a ratio of 30 percent fiction to 70 percent nonfiction in 12th grade.
  • Implements an experimental form of geometry that failed with gifted Russian students.
  • Creators admit it prepares graduates for a two-year college, not four-year college or university.

Sources: Bill Evers, Pioneer Institute, Common Core State Standards, David Coleman.

Image by Dell, Inc.