- In response to a substantial backlash to the Common Core standards, New York’s Board of Regents voted in September to drop or revise some of the standards and change the name to “Next Generation Learning Standards,” which will be implemented in 2020, District Administration reports.
- As of January 2017, eight of the 46 original adopters of the Common Core have dropped the standards, 21 states had either changed or were in the process of changing the standards and 17 have kept them intact; however, efforts to change the standards appear to be dying down.
- Since many of the changes appear to be relatively minor, Jill Norton, principal associate of social and economic policy at Abt Associates, a research organization that studied the issue, concludes that the Common Core effort was still successful.
Since states began adopting the Common Core in 2010, the standards have remained at the forefront of educational controversy. What began as a way to prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow and to provide a level playing field for testing educational concepts has morphed into what some view as an assault on state’s rights, creativity and common sense. While the Common Core offers some advantages to students, it also offers a new set of problems that have fueled opposition, especially from parents struggling to deal with the new language and expectations of the standards.
Though the Common Core has become a politically and socially divisive issue, it has unified the country in a discussion of what issues in education are important and has given states a common framework for that discussion. Most states have elected to use the Common Core as a starting point for tweaking standards. About 27% of the Common Core math standards, which have received the most criticism, were changed by nine states. These states also made changes to about 23% or the Common Core ELA standards, which had been criticized as confusing and too focused on non-fiction texts.
These revisions do allow states to not only improve the standards according to their own perspectives, but also to retain the individuality that defines each state. These adaptations of the Common Core, however, also negate part of the original purpose of providing a level testing field for students. For now, achievement tests and college readiness tests such as the ACT and the SAT are being aligned with Common Core standards. As states continue to tweak these standards, perhaps a better model would be for achievement tests to measure real -world knowledge and for college readiness tests to reflect the college texts students will study. Ultimately, these will be the true standards students will be judged by.