The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. To say they're contentious is to put it mildly. For various reasons, a nationwide backlash has taken hold and some states are reconsidering the standards.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a member of the Arkansas OTL Campaign, has released a short guide for parents to answer some of the biggest questions about the Common Core and its impact on their children's schools. For example, it explains how the standards were developed, how states plan to evaluate them, and the difference between "standards" and "curriculum."
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Common Core (and one we here at the OTL Campaign share) is that standards are only as good as the resources available to meet them. Higher standards like Common Core can be a good thing, but only when they're matched with the resources students, teachers and schools need to achieve those standards. Given the deep inequities in our nation's public schools, merely raising standards won't fix things. However, if the new standards are implemented with care and evaluated fairly, they could be a chance to identify and address the gaps in access to resources like adequate school funding, pre-k, Advanced Placement classes, highly trained teachers, etc.