Idaho has recognized that Common Core has not improved schools. Wayne Hoffman, executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation recently stated, “The days of Common Core in our public schools appear to finally be numbered.” This comes after a joint letter from the House and Senate education committees to the Governor and the two education agencies in the state, in which legislators are urging for new standards.
Standards will not improve schools any more than a budget will improve a business. Neither will change how the organization performs. But they can be tools to assess effectiveness.
ACTE Program Chair Don Nielsen argues, “Unfortunately, many believe our schools will improve with more rigorous standards and that was one of the drivers for the development of the Common Core. But, poor performing schools, like poor performing businesses, need much more than standards or a budget in order to improve.”
The emphasis on standards puts the cart before the horse. Nielsen explains, “we absolutely need standards to measure effectiveness, but improving our schools is not going to occur as a result of standards. Schools will only improve if we focus on changing our obsolete system of public education.”
Along with the standards’ inability to improve schools, the scope of the standards is far too small. Common Core standards are confined to English/language arts and math. We need standards for the other core subjects like history and science. We should also have standards for academics outside the traditional subjects, including things like economics, finance, health and nutrition, and civics.
As parents and concerned citizens, we should be promoting the total development of a child. That encompasses far more than instructing children based on the Common Core.
Hoffman states that the movement to eliminate the Common Core is, “one of the best outcomes to emerge so far from the 2020 legislative session.” We couldn’t agree more.