Monday, September 21, 2015

Abstention and Kool-Aid Drinking: CCSS Adoption

Image result for common core state standardsAccording to (McGraw Hill, 2014), 45 states, 4 territories, and Washington D.C. adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). 89,890 public school districts with 2,972,000 public school teachers implemented and taught lessons anchored to the CCSS, and 45,750,000 students took one or more end of course tests based on the CCSS. With all of this participation from states and teachers, some states have abstained from drinking the Kool-Aid for various reasons.

While Virginia, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Alaska never adopted the CCSS, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Indiana adopted then chose to repeal the CCSS. Other states that were early adopters have since reviewed, revised the adapted or even repealed the CCSS  (Bidwell, Common Core Support in Free Fall, 2014).

Focusing on the states that decided against the full adoption of the CCSS, their reasons were and are based on local, state, and federal politics. At the time Gov. Rick Perry of Texas explains, “Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents’ participation in their children’s education” (Bidwell, The Politics of the Common Core, 2014). His sentiment and fear is shared equally by other states that refuse to relinquish state and local control to federally backed standards.

Image result for mike penceIndiana Governor Mike Pence intimated similar concerns as the state was considering a repeal of the CCSS, "Hoosiers have high expectations when it comes to Indiana schools," Pence said. "That's why Indiana decided to take a time-out on national education standards. When it comes to setting standards for schools, I can assure you, Indiana's will be uncommonly high. They will be written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and will be among the best in the nation" (Bidwell, The Politics of the Common Core, 2014).

While state pride seems to be a central reason and controlling the content another, the CCSS is a thoughtful idea that was ruefully implemented as its adoption was tied to federal Race to the Top considerations. States that are choosing to forge their paths is fine. Having worked in Virginia and actually worked with a committee to develop state standards of learning, the process was one of community and consensus that took several years to implement and refine. The money and time invested could not be washed away with simple adoption of the CCSS.

Bidwell, A. (2014, Aug 20). Common Core Support in Free Fall. U.S. News and Report.
Bidwell, A. (2014, Mar 6). The Politics of the Common Core. U.S. News and Report
McGraw Hill. (2014). What everyone needs to know about Common Core State Standards. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from

Stephens, C. (2013). Unlike Alabama, these five states didn't adopt the Common Core. Retrieved 17 September 2015, from

No comments:

Post a Comment