The Tea Party Is Wrong on the Common Core Curriculum
Over the past three years, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards. These objectives were developed to ensure that America’s students acquire the academic skills they need to reach their full potential.
Yet the Common Core standards are under serious assault by the tea party movement, which argues that they were developed by the federal government [“A new battle for tea party,” front page, May 31]. This assertion lacks any basis in fact. The Common Core was developed during a year-long process by state leaders — Democrats and Republicans — along with highly respected members of the business community and people in education, including many teachers.
Rather than representing a takeover by the federal government, Common Core shows why states have always led in the area of education policy. State leaders realized that we can best accomplish our goals by working together with common guidelines that allow us to raise the bar for our students and share resources without interference from federal mandates.
Opponents of higher standards also argue that the Common Core will eliminate local control of a school’s curriculum. This, too, is simply not true. Previously, each state had set its own standards; now, the majority of states will have the same ones. Local school boards have had, and will continue to have, discretion in how to work with their schools and educators to teach those higher objectives — from the texts they use to the teaching techniques they employ. The difference is that the expectations for a high school junior in Delaware will be the same as in California.