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Fig 3 Common Core

Fig 3 Common Core (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Rachel Sheffield 

When “states signed on to common core standards, they did not realize…that they were transferring control of the school curriculum to the federal government,” said Sandra Stotsky, 21st Century Chair in Teacher Quality at the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform, speaking at The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

Stotsky and four other education scholars from around the nation met to discuss the Obama Administration’s growing push for Common Core national education standards and why states should resist Washington’s attempt to further centralize education.

The Obama Administration’s press for common education standards is not the first time the federal government has attempted to meddle in school curriculum, as Williamson Evers, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, explained at Tuesday’s event. While the creation of national standards has been led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the standards have been “pushed by the Obama Administration,” explained Evers. “So this is where we are now. The feds are financing the tests. They’re financing model curriculum.”

Beyond the legal issues, the cost of implementing the standards should be of great concern to states, Theodor Rebarber, CEO and founder of AccountabilityWorks, explained. “States did almost no costs analysis” when they signed on to adopt the Common Core standards, Rebarber noted. However, a report he authored earlier this year conservatively estimated the overall national cost for implementing Common Core at a hefty $16 billion.

What’s more, the standards are unlikely to promote higher educational quality; rather, they will likely impede achievement.