Common Core: Extraordinary Solution to All-Too-Common Problem

By: Ed Moore, Ph.D. | Posted: June 27, 2013 3:55 AM
Ed Moore - PhD

Ed Moore, Ph.D.

It is time to “Raise the bar!” I keep frequently seeing commentary from pundits that questions the need for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and from some, the specter of federal government intrusion into educational matters.

I am not really clear on their thought processes since the arguments they put forth tend to be more anti-government in nature rather than based in the realities of educational standards. Frankly, the U.S. is losing the educational race and the new standards are designed to get us back on track -- by setting base levels of knowledge that every student should learn, know and retain.

Common assessments and curriculum afford educators and policymakers the opportunity to compare. The curriculum is not being prescribed -- the bar for knowledge is just being set. On a national level, tests such as the SAT and ACT are very useful in comparing high school juniors and seniors, but what about our nation’s younger students? While many states have tests and curriculum specifically designed for their students, the educators, parents and lawmakers of our nation have yet to collaborate in the creation of a national standard, until now. CCSS has allowed the states to come together to set a new bar of achievement for all students.

Once a leader in education, the United States has fallen behind the curve in recent years as more and more countries become educationally competitive and find new ways to engage and teach their students. While the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment results won’t be released until December, we still have the 2009 results that should have raised alarm bells in every school district in the United States. Our reading literacy performance in 2009 had nine countries ahead of us. For math literacy performance, there were 17 countries with better scores, with the U.S. below the international average for 64 countries examined. Science literacy performance results showed 12 countries with superior scores. It appears that our race to the top has a long way to go.

The CCSS is a product of the dedication and initiative shown by 45 states to raise the bar for education in our country. Through the collaborative efforts of our nation’s finest education professionals, legislators and parents, the standards have been designed to elevate our education system, provide clearer learning expectations, and unite our students under a common goal of education enhancement. Through the implementation of these standards, students will be presented with a more rigorous curriculum, better preparing them for post-secondary learning and the workforce. Investing in the implementation and success of CCSS is a direct investment into the future of our country. Students who are more prepared for higher education and professional success are more likely to be contributing members of society, adding value to our state and federal economy.

These standards will also allow us to monitor the success of our country’s education system from state to state, and from county to county. The ability to compare students in different parts of the country will allow educators to more accurately pinpoint struggling areas and prevent failure, while addressing key issues and making progressive movements toward better education strategies.

Educators in Florida are taking steps to prepare themselves for the coming changes to curriculum brought on by CCSS. In the upcoming weeks, teachers across the state will have the opportunity to return to the classroom, participating in hands-on learning activities and developing their skills in new, more rigorous CCSS material. Institutes will be held to train teachers in Pinellas, Duval, Palm Beach, and Santa Rosa County, bringing these educators up-to-date on the newest teaching strategies and lesson plans.

As today’s leaders in education, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure a brighter future for our students. Whether it is teachers participating in educational workshops, lawmakers passing progressive education policy reforms or parents simply becoming more involved with their children, our nation must stand together in an effort to bring the United States back to the forefront of educational excellence and innovation. Through the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the American people are taking a step in the right direction by raising our academic standards. By focusing on the improvement of education today, we help to ensure a better and bright future for all of us tomorrow.

Dr. Ed H. Moore is president and CEO of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. 

Tags: News, Columns

Comments (9)

8:28PM JUL 10TH 2013
I have been calling for higher standards for two decades, I like the push to ACTUALLY read and write more. My concern is the national gov't and now corporate cronies trademarking and mandating and enslaving states, and thus districts to once they agree to get the initial monies can NEVER leave common core. I don't think there should be diversity (code name for anti-American liberal crap) there is a set of doctrines, documents, history and philosophy that makes up this nation's raison d'être that most students have lost, as many teachers are ignorant or diligently NOT teaching. Common core values with a much higher bar are essential to the survival of the Great Experiment we call this nation.
8:52AM JUL 1ST 2013
Where's the Diversity? We need a free market for education. We need to have a choice of education providers. The education ecosystem is not as healthy as it should be because there is no diversity.
Roy G Callahan
9:47PM JUN 27TH 2013
You have to be either a socialist or communist to approve of common core. Mr. Moore is a representative of the University of Florida, a Marxist indoctrination center. I've read the lesson plans; trading off Shakespeare and other literate for the garbage Common core recommends tells a story in its own right.
6:14PM JUN 29TH 2013
Sounds like a Tea Party patriot type whose four years at University of Florida didn't quite agree with him . . . . . and now only knows how to resort to name-calling and demonization politics for his arguments . . .

Pathetic . . .
8:29PM JUL 10TH 2013
I'd the labels are true, why is that pathetic?
8:30PM JUL 10TH 2013
Sorry if the labels....
FL Teacher
10:12AM JUN 27TH 2013
I am stunned that Ed Moore repeated outright lies. There is no basis in reality for much of what he says. He might be for diverting billions more to testing but does he have to mislead? He repeats the lie that we were once a leader in education but have fallen behind. In fact, we finished dead last on the first international tests in the 1960's. Despite these results we have done just fine in the world since there is no connection between test scores and economic prowess. We have also dominated the world in Nobel Prizes in STEM areas. Why does Moore mislead?
Moore then points out recent international test results but fails to point out that when comparing like students- we score at the top of the world. That is right Mr. Moore- US students, not in poverty, are at the top of the world (See Bracey, Berliner).
The US is at the top of the world in child poverty (See UNICEF).
National and international tests have shown that socioeconomic factors are the TOP indicator for scores yet Mr. Moore is intent on scapegoating schools by his misleading article.
Moore wants to continue the manufactured crisis. There is no evidence that more testing and more standards do anything for learning (see Glass). The US has always ranked very highly in world economic competitiveness (see World Economic Forum).
I call on Mr. Moore to STOP misleading and to stop repeating the myth of broken schools.
Vance Jochim
9:18AM JUN 27TH 2013
Parents and grandparents need to investigate how Common Core dumbs down Florida education. Search on Youtube or Google to many, many opponents to Common Core. Common Core was created by liberals within two private organizations in Washington DC and funded by the Federal government. No matter what proponents say, the two "approved" testing firms are aligned with radical liberal Bill Ayers and if teachers want merit increases, they have to teach to the tests, which don't exist yet and have not be peer reviewed. The Federal government gave those two firms over $350-million to develop liberally biased tests without public review of the process. Thus proponents will say districts choose curriculums, but they have to pick from a huge appendix in the standards from questionable "information texts" and textbooks. Use of literature will be reduced 70% in high schools so they can read government documents and other "texts". Common Core violates states rights in defining education standards, and parents and grandparents really need to understand how this system is being rolled out. Just wait until US History, civics and other courses are added to Common Core, then look for the bias and methods used to train the kids.
7:23AM JUN 27TH 2013
So, here we have another educator planting an article to support the regionalization or federalization of curriculum and thus big government control over your child's future. This will work just as well as cash for clunkers. Reject the common core and race to the top.

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