Search form

A Common Core Update: This Month in Common Core News

As the controversial and long-expired No Child Left Behind Act is finally seeing its last days, big changes in education are expected to come with the act’s rewrite, called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

But while much focus is being placed on the passing of this highly anticipated rewrite (the final text was released in all of its thousand-page glory yesterday), the discussion of the current state and later fate of the equally controversial Common Core has been placed on the back burner.

Education World has compiled a list of the latest Common Core news to keep you updated on where the standards stand despite all the cluttered talk of education reform.

What the NCLB Rewrite Means for Common Core

While the Every Student Succeeds Act has made some major changes such as mandating better tracking of student data, rolling back federal power particularly in teacher evaluations and re-defining state accountability for underperforming schools, it essentially leaves the Common Core alone. 

Though the federal government is prohibited under the new legislation from pushing any certain set of standards on states, it has not prohibited Common Core. In other words, one state can design its own standards while another can operate under Common Core, leaving the opportunity for a mismatch of educational standards from state-to-state to again reign.

Massachusetts Ditches the Common Core

The Every Student Succeeds Act might not influence how states determine their standards, but education trail blazer Massachusetts will undoubtedly influence other states with its decision to drop the Common Corel last week.

By spring of 2017, the Massachusetts’ Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will develop its own standards and standardized test, officially scrapping the standards after helping create them in 2009.

Massachusetts serves as a leader for other states as for decades its been a leader in both education reform and student test scores.

According to the New York Times, the state’s involvement in the Common Core served as a validation for the standards during its initial roll-out, so the state’s decision to now opt-out is equally significant for the standard’s future. 

New York Appoints Common Core Task Force

To prove how divisive the standards are, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed an entire task force to figure out how it’s working and how to improve it.

After areas of New York saw an unprecedented opt-out movement of students from standardized tests last spring, the state’s Common Core Task Force is seeking to gather community insight into the standards with an agenda of rebooting them.

Education advocates across the state are divided, with some hoping the panel will improve the standards but not scrap them. Others hope New York will follow in Massachusetts path.

Regardless which decision is made, the implication will be huge for the fate of the standards nationwide.

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor