The Common Core State Standards began in 2009 as a state-led effort to measure the nation’s students against a shared benchmark. At first, the standards received broad acceptance. Education leaders and elected officials alike agreed that students and the U.S. education system would benefit from internationally competitive standards that guarantee common, rigorous learning goals for students across the nation. But as the standards rolled out—and as they continue to roll out—the Common Core has become a political football, so much so that some political pundits are predicting that it will be a significant issue for 2016 presidential hopefuls.
With all of the political posturing, it’s easy to lose focus and pay little heed to the voices of the people most affected by the standards—teachers and students. States and districts face serious challenges as they continue the transition to the Common Core, and some places are experiencing more success than others. Yet while the Common Core may continue to be litigated in state houses throughout the country and while national politicians may use it as a political wedge, teachers are hard at work implementing the standards each day. As such, teachers’ voices on Common Core implementation are vitally important to its success.
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