May 2011 Your Turn

As with so much in education today, there is no common agreement on the merits of the Common Core Standards. According to our March poll, 35 percent of you say that whatever comes out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative should be good for public education, 44 percent say the impact will be mixed, and 18 percent believe it will have negative consequences.

Count Minnesota superintendent Scott R. Staska among the initiative’s proponents.

“In many ways, the Common Core Standards should be beneficial,” he writes. “They provide, as the name implies, a common perspective and standard expectation for student learning. This should allow better accountability, great consistency, and more uniformity in the educational opportunities for students all across the nation.”

But Patty Kennedy, a board member from Arizona, is more pessimistic.

“This is another case of something that sounds really good on paper but will most likely not have the intended results when fully implemented,” she writes. “States, cities, communities, and school districts each face unique challenges. A one-size-fits-all approach, from a logical viewpoint, does not seem to be the best answer.”

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