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Common Core Standards: Not a Federal Initiative


If your child is a student in school in Missouri, then you’ve probably heard about Common Core Standards. What many parents don’t know is that Common Core isn’t a federal reform initiative.

The Federal Government’s Role in Common Core
The federal government didn’t develop Common Core Standards, and it doesn’t require states to adopt them. The U.S. Government doesn’t sponsor Common Core Standards, and it doesn’t administer them, either.

The History of Common Core
No Child Left Behind was approved broadly and on both sides of party lines. And while its intentions may have been good, No Child Left Behind inadvertently triggered a lowering of school standards in schools.

Under No Child Left Behind, the federal government set certain “proficiency” standards that states needed to meet, but it left the evaluation of those “proficiencies” up to the states. States could either keep high standards (but fail No Child Left Behind standards if not all students could reach them), or they could lower their standards to a level that all students could meet.

Educational quality didn’t change — testing standards did.

Who Is Responsible for Common Core
Common Core was created by an independent, bipartisan group of governors, nonprofit organizations, and the Council of Chief State School Officers who wanted schools to have a set of well-researched and peer-reviewed standards that showed what students across the nation should learn in each grade level. Common Core Standards are not part of No Child Left Behind.

Educational experts were consulted, extensive research was cited, and all standards were thoroughly reviewed by teachers and other educational professionals before being published.

The Common Core Standards are not a curriculum — they’re a tool that schools and teachers can use to make sure that kids are learning what they need to learn in order to be competitive in college and career.

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers sponsor the Common Core Standards, and each state decides independently whether to use them. According to the Common Core State Standards website, 45 of 50 U.S. States, four territories, and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core Standards.

The Future of Common Core
Most states that currently participate in Common Core don’t have plans to change their participation in the new school year, and there’s no reason to believe that Common Core will be “owned” by the federal government any time soon.

For more on the future of Common Core Standards, and how Common Core is good for Missouri, keep coming back to MOParent.

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