Common Core Standards Drive Wedge in Education Circles

In those many United States where they have been adopted, the Common Core State Standards are due to be implemented in 2014-15. Planning and pilot programs are already underway. But controversy over who should set and assess education standards continues. Those who support the new standards claim they are a sea change, aimed at ensuring that student learn how to think and expressing thinking and how to learn content and communicate learning — rather than parroting memorized material in response to watered-down exams. — Kelly Searsmith

by Greg Toppo / USA Today / 20 May 2012

When did fractions and non-fiction become so controversial?

A high-profile effort by a pair of national education groups to strengthen, simplify and focus the building blocks of elementary and secondary education is finally making its way into schools. But two years ahead of its planned implementation, critics on both the right and left are seizing upon it. A few educators say the new standards, supported by the U.S. Department of Education, are untested, and one Republican governor wants to block the measure, saying it’s a federal intrusion into local decisions.

How did something so simple become so fraught?

The story begins in 2009, when the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers announced an effort to create voluntary national standards in math and reading. All but four states — Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia — quickly signed on to the standards, known as the Common Core, agreeing to help create then implement them by 2014

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