Niagara Gazette


December 10, 2013

CONFER: Who is behind the Common Core standards?


Without teachers, let alone administrators like principals or superintendents, involved in the strategic planning and oversight of Achieve, Inc., thus Common Core, you know that it was destined for failure from the start.

Achieve, Inc. alleges that educators were involved in the standard writing process. The National Governors Association website has a list of 135 people who developed the standards and/or provided feedback of them. It can be read at

A cursory glance at the list finds that only 11 of the contributors work at or recently retired from school districts. The other 124 are employed in universities and state governments or they may be consultants. So, the standards were written by team of which 92 percent do not or have not worked with youth. The rule makers ended up being people who teach adults and/or tell schools how to teach. They are folks totally disconnected from children and teens and the art and science of teaching them.

This was never made more evident than the fact that the teams, though dictating what is expected of early childhood education (K-3), had not one expert or teacher versed or experienced in that matter. A high schooler is nothing like a college student who is nothing like an elementary school student. Yet, it seems Achieve, Inc. would have us believe otherwise.

It’s a classic case of the ivory towers telling everyone else how to live.

Had teachers actually been involved in the process the standards might have been more palatable and useful. But they weren’t and the standards aren’t. That’s a big reason why only 31 percent of New York students met or exceeded the first round of Common Core exams last spring.

Next week we will look at the English and math curricula forged by Common Core. You will see how our kids and our country have been set up for yet more failure.

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