Common Core State Standards

States are on the doorstep of full-blown implementation of Common Core State Standards; soon to be known
as Washington State Learning Standards. Several states are rethinking their support of CCSS. A few have reversed course; a few have rebranded the effort; and a few have backed out of the national assessment consortia
and are designing stand alone assessments. I think the opposition is sometimes due to a lack of understanding.
Below you will find four common myths I hear and the facts that counter them concerning CCSS.

Myth: Adopting common standards means bringing all states’ standards down to the lowest common denominator. In other words it means “dumbing down” our expectations for students.

The standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all
students for college, career and life. Even the best state standards will move to the next level. Ellensburg
teachers have spent two years, going on three, gaining a deep understanding of the standards and aligning
them to our curriculum. Ask anyone who has been studying the standards and they will tell you the rigor at
each grade level has increased

Myth: These standards amount to a national curriculum for our schools.

The Common Core is not a curriculum. It is a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what
knowledge and skills will help our students succeed in our world today. Educators in each district will decide
how these standards are to be met and with what curriculum.

Myth: The standards tell teachers what to teach.

Teachers know best about what works in the classroom. That is why these standards establish
what students need to learn but do not dictate how teachers should teach. Schools and teachers will decide
how best to help students reach the standards.

Myth: The CCSS will result in a national database of private student information.

There are no data collection requirements for states adopting the standards. Standards define ex-
pectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Implementing the CCSS
does not require data collection.
The conservative Fordham Foundation awarded the Common Core math standards an A- and the English language arts standards a B+. It called both sets of standards “solidly in the honors range” and “very, very strong,” adding that they are clearer and more rigorous than the standards currently used by the vast majority of states.