State school systems rethink Common Core standards

May 7, 2013

Common Core Protest
The growing backlash against the nationwide K-12 school standards known as Common Core, bubbling to the surface in Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere, has become the hottest story in education.

But for a handful of holdouts — including Virginia — it’s old news.

The commonwealth is one of four states to resist the system, billed as a state-led reform movement but seen by many critics as a death knell for local control over classrooms. A fifth state, Minnesota, has adopted half of the Common Core system by agreeing to implement the English language arts standards but rejecting the mathematics portion.

In Virginia, state education leaders have long believed that their standards are better.

“We’re already in the process of implementing college- and career-ready standards, not only in the instruction that’s provided but also the assessments that students take,” said Charles Pyle, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education. He added that the department incorporated some pieces of the Common Core mathematics system into Virginia’s standards, which strengthened what already was in place.

For critics, Virginia has had the right idea all along. Conservative pundits such as Glenn Beck criticize the standards as a backdoor way for the federal government to take over education — a notion that Common Core supporters vehemently dispute.

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