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Common Core Controversy: Opt Out or Rebrand?

Last year, the roll out of the multi-state Common Core Standards in the New York state public education system ignited major controversy. Many parents were surprised to hear that the Common Core had been implemented in their children’s schools. They were frustrated at the lack of official communication on the matter, too: the schools and the state had stayed silent, leaving parents to find out only once the news trickled down to them through their kids.

Beyond that, there is a broad perception that the design and implementation of the Common Core standard has been hurried, largely unregulated, and leaves parents no choice or say in how their children are educated in the public school system. Several web forums and online communities have popped up in recent years, encouraging parents to band together, to inform and to defend themselves and their children from “a federal takeover “of education in America.

While some of these parents’ positions may seem extreme, activity on the state level suggests that the Common Core may in fact have been rolled out and implemented before its time. The Kansas State Board of Education recently announced its plan to drop out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and other states, including Georgia and Alabama, have also resigned from their respective consortia. While State Boards of Education may be more focused on budgetary concerns—significant funding is required to adhere to the Common Core standards and its related exams—many were also concerned at the negative publicity the Common Core received following its implementation in New York. Arizona, Florida, and Iowa have all launched Common Core rebranding campaigns in hopes of distilling the public’s negative perception of the Common Core as they anticipate their own roll outs.

Was the Common Core implemented too soon? Or are these just the sort of kinks that come naturally with any new major initiative, which will be resolved over time?  Let us know what you think – and we’ll stay on the story.

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