Common Core


Arjun Patel, Editor-in-Chief

Many important decisions are made that could change the world forever, either good or bad.  This is true about Common Core. Common Core is a national curriculum for schools that was   developed by the U.S. government. The government funded about 4 billion dollars to make this program and forced every state to become part of it by the beginning of 2015. Common Core has had a big and recent impact on the United States. Common Core, a curriculum that was thought to become a success, has turned out to be controversial.

Common Core was founded over the course of many years. In 1998, many high school principals and teachers were complaining that their students lacked in their education and struggled to graduate.  Many students that graduated lacked skills to succeed in  a career. As a result, the National Governors Association thought of the idea of Common Core. Then, in 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation donated a total of 60 million dollars to help Common Core! They targeted Washington DC’s National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief’s State’s School Office. These two institutions lacked the authority to change the schools curriculum, so they paired with Achieve, a company that wanted this type of education since 1998. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and Achieve then wrote a book called Benchmarking for Success.  Benchmarking for Success wanted the United State’s standards curriculum to follow the same curriculum of China. In 2009, these companies presented their case to the the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Arne Duncan presented his ideas to Congress. Congress voted and 4 billion dollars was given to help Common Core. This was also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). That same week, on June 1, 2009, Common Core was initiated for states to use. Less than a year later, on March 2010, the government placed even more pressure on the states. They started making threats that states would not receive government funds if they had not implemented Common Core by 2015. Many principals, school teachers, and parents lacked knowledge about Common Core, but were forced to comply. School experts reviewing the program rejected  Common Core Standards, but the standards were passed on to schools for children to use. In May of 2013, President Obama mandated Common Core be followed by kids as young as three.


Common Core is implemented in many schools today. Some teachers complain the freedom to teach has been compromised.  Michael Warren, a history teacher in New Jersey, stated,” Now teachers aren’t as unique. It means anyone can do it. It’s like taking something done by humans and having it done by a machine.” They have teach what is determined by the government and not the needs of the students.   Some students find Common Core repetitive. In Seattle’s Garfield High School, half of the students refused to take the new, computerized tests called Smarter Balanced. Smarter Balanced are tests designed to measure how much the students understand Common Core. Even though many teachers and students dislike Common Core, the government steadfastly refuses to give up the new curriculum.  One of the potential Republican presidential candidates, Jeb Bush, was a governor of Florida and thinks he could be a good candidate for president. However, he has run into trouble when he says he likes Common Core. Even though he would be a great candidate to run for office, he may not become elected because he likes Common Core.
Common Core is a curriculum that has turned out to have some flaws and has been very controversial.