Dear Editor,

The Common Core State Standards have swept the nation and have recently been popping up frequently in Louisiana news. Common Core has proven to be another contentious educational issue, so here are some quick facts that you should know:

What is the Common Core? The Common Core State Standards are grade and subject specific standards intended to raise the achievement standards for our students nationwide.

Why is the Common Core an issue for Louisiana? Louisiana adopted the Common Core in 2010, and just went into effect this fall. This means that teachers across the state are now implementing new material for their students in preparation of the Common Core standardized tests.

What is the goal of the Common Core Standards? The Common Core wants to ensure that students are better prepared to enter a workforce that demands highly skilled employees.

What are some of the concerns over the Common Core Standards? The Common Core represents a continued push in the trend of over-testing our students. Standardized tests have consistently failed to offer equal opportunities to the children taking them and have lined big pockets of national test manufacturers like Pearson and the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Standardized tests have also taken autonomy away from highly qualified teachers when developing their curriculum, and the ever-urgent need to “teach to the test” has resulted in less time for innovation and creativity in the classroom. Perhaps the most disturbing reality of the Common Core is that they were developed based on inadequate research and with relatively little input from actual educators.

Promoting policies that ensure that our students have the best opportunities to learn and that our teachers have the best opportunities to demonstrate their expertise is one of the central interests of Louisiana Progress. While the Common Core was created to boost the abilities of our schoolchildren, this educational policy has recycled many of the flawed ideas inherent in No Child Left Behind. Unfortunately, true transformation in our schools remains to be seen.

Carrie Wooten

www.louisianaprogress.org