Battle Against the Common Core
Although most of the states are on board with this initiative, there are those who question forcing such a rigid plan on schools that are already coping with other governmental initiatives such as No Child Left Behind. But that is only one of the criticisms. Others believe the Common Core State Standards takes away local control of schools and won't make a difference in student achievement.3
The state of Texas has adamantly balked at the standards especially in the areas of math and reading because they "represented an unwarranted federal intrusion into the classroom." In the area of science, Texas educators and politicians are against the initiative because it doesn't cover everything, specifically evolution, and climate change, like the current Next Generation Science Standards does.4 Finally, the Texas State Board of Education revamped its science curriculum in 2009 when a battle ensued over how the theory of evolution should be taught.
Another state outspoken against the Common Core State Standards Initiative is Nebraska. After initially endorsing the program, Nebraska education officials had second thoughts after the federal government got involved. They also believe that the initiative doesn't have the "mechanism for states to update or control the standards."5 Minnesota is the only state that skipped adopting the mathematics standards because education officials felt their state's mandates were already revised and more "rigorous" than what the Common Core offered.6
Virginia declined to adopt the federal standards because it already has its own educational standards that educators feel mirrors "the purpose of the Common Core Standards."7 While the state of Alaska as a whole has not approved the standards, the Anchorage School District voted to implement the curriculum immediately.
Finding a Program That Works
It's no secret the nation's education system needs an overhaul to improve test scores and better prepare students for college and adult life. However, a global program such as the Common Core State Standards Initiative may not be the answer for every school district.