In 2010, every state but Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia adopted Common Core education standards, a set of requirements for what elementary and secondary school children should know in each grade in math and English language arts. The initiative represents a dramatic centralization of authority over the nation’s historically decentralized K-12 education system.
Proponents insist Common Core originated in a “state-led” process, but the truth is that a group of private trade organizations commissioned a small group of consultants to write Common Core behind closed doors. There is no legal authority in this country for elected leaders to gather together and write policies except in the halls of Congress.
This elite-driven, closed-doors process created a set of what can accurately be described as mediocre mandates. While proponents say Common Core is “internationally benchmarked” and “rigorous,” independent scholars conclude Common Core will graduate students prepared at best for a two-year community college. Several states had better standards in place before they adopted Common Core.