The Common Core has become commonplace in the American education system, being adopted by 46 states, and still used in 38. But that number will soon shrink to 37, following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that he intends to sign an executive order eliminating the standards in the state’s education system.
The initiative to develop the Common Core standards began in 2009, as state leaders’ attempted to tackle the problem of different states having different educational standards, as well as having different concepts of what constituted proficiency in core subjects like reading and math is. Because of this system, it was difficult to compare the performance of students in different states, and to gauge their readiness for higher education.
The Common Core standards provided uniform benchmarks for students’ educational progress, and aimed to ensure that students were prepared for college and the workforce regardless of which state they attended school in. But Common Core has its downsides, and with them its detractors.
The standards have proved to be controversial, generating significant backlash. Politicians, interest groups, teachers, and parents alike have complained about Common Core since its inception. And while opposition is largely associated with Tea Party Republicans, this isn’t a strictly partisan issue. Many Democrats are opposed to it, and many Republicans are in favor of it.
Some believe that educational standards should be decided by state and local governments since they know their students best, and not dictated by the national government. They see the implementation of national standards as an attack on states’ rights by the federal government.
Common Core introduced different methods of learning and analyzing material, among them new methods of solving math problems. Many students and parents found these confusing and overly complex.
Another common criticism of Common Core is that it encourages an abundance of standardized testing, which is detrimental to students. Placing too much emphasis on test scores can negatively affect their performance and self-esteem. It can also lead to schools teaching to the test at the expense of providing their students with more meaningful learning experiences.
Other states have withdrawn their education systems from the Common Core standards before. And Florida’s impending entrance into this group doesn’t come as a major surprise. It previously rolled back its participation in Common Core in 2014, modifying the standards.
Governor DeSantis has claimed that the new standards will be higher “in many respects” than the Common Core ones, and that they will be geared toward knowledge instead of teaching to standardized tests. While the new standards have yet to be revealed, people in Florida’s education system have welcomed the change, saying that the new standards would help develop students’ potential.