Common Core and America

by Meghna Kumar

As of January 2015, 43 states have adopted Common Core standards. Common Core is a set of standards which outline learning requirements for mathematics and language arts for grades K-12 in the United States.

Over the years, Common Core and its implementation have garnered an abundance of controversy and opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Most opposition rises mainly from the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution, when originally written, had no mention of education anywhere within it. This, in turn, resulted in local governments assuming responsibility, creating local school houses to educate those in its jurisdiction. The Common Core, which increases the federal government’s involvement in education, is seen by many as unconstitutional.

So who came up with this disputed system? The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the National Council of Chief State School Officers were initially the key players; however, over time, corporations and the Department of Education became involved. Various companies, most prominently Pearson, stepped forth to create and distribute tests around America. The involvement of businesses added to suspicion of the system, resulting in opposition.

Those who argue in support of  Common Core highlight that the idea of the national government setting guidelines for schools is not novel. In 1983, the Reagan Administration engendered the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, providing education recommendations to schools. They contend that the Common Core, too, is only a recommendation, and the majority of the United States had chosen to adopt it.

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