Common Core State Standards Debate: Rebuttal Erin Brown Robin Rosenquist Tage Singh Paul Mulvaney
Opening statement • We accept Group 3’s definition of the CCSS as: “a set of standards that can be adopted by a state that outline content and skills that should be taught k-12 in Mathematics and Language Arts.”
Thesis • However, we will attempt to prove, with the following 3 points, that the Council of Chief State School Officers did not overstep their authority in developing and recommending the Common Core State Standards for U.S. public schools.
Point 1: Federal Power Group 3 argues that implementation of “Common Core State Standards does not help states ‘focus on a state-drivenleverage point’” We would like to agree that the Common Core Standards Initiative does, in fact, shift power from the states to the federal government, but for good reason; the current system is not working.
Evidence • OECD ranked US 14th in reading skills, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics (out of 34 countries). This puts us average to below-average world-wide. www.huffingtonpost.com/ • Jeffrey Sachs, a globalization expert & economist at Columbia University, says that we are not fulfilling the educational needs of our young people and that has serious consequences. Now that the quality of the global work force has improved, U.S. corporations have no choice but to hire outside the country. www.nbcnews.com/
Point 2: Money Group 3 argues that “States should not have been coerced to adopt the CCSS in order to receive federal funding, such as Race to the Top monetary awards.” We disagree. We believe that the monetary rewards states received are so low in comparison to implementation costs that this would be a very poor incentive indeed to adopt the standards. States who choose to adopt the standards will actually be paying more money to implement the standards.
Evidence • It has been publicized that Race to the Top money runs out in 2014. Our government has a history of starting things and not following through, leaving local governments to pick up the cost. The monetary benefits will not last. www.libertyfirstfl.org/ • Nearly $16 billion in additional costs for CCSS is four times what the federal government has offered in RTTP grant money. At least five states figured out that 90% of funding would be put back on the local taxpayer. www.pioneerinstitute.org/
Point 3: Lack of Teacher Input Group 3 argues that “significant stakeholders (current k-12 teachers and parents) are underrepresented or not represented at all on the Common Core State Standards work and review committees” • We disagree. Not only were parents and teachers able to give input, many teachers and parents currently support implementation of the CCSS.
Evidence • “Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.” “Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards.” The NEA, AFT, NCTM & NCTE organizations were “instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback” on standards. www.corestandards.org/ • National Parent Teacher Association is not only in favor of CCSS but they encourage and publicize ways for parents to save school districts money. www.blogs.edweek.org/
Conclusion • For reasons stated earlier as well as the evidence presented, we feel that the affirmative side of the thesis statement, the Chief States School Officers overstepped their authority in developing and recommending the Common Core State Standards for U.S. Public Schools, was not fully proven.
References • Huffington Post Education, www.huffingtonpost.com/ • Associated Press 12/28/2010 at www.nbcnews.com/ • Why Common Core is Uncommonly Bad by Paul Henry, May 31, 2013, www.libertyfirstfl.org/ • Jim Sturgios, Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute at www.pioneerinstitute.org/ • www.corestandards.org/ • Don’t Politicize the Common Core State Standards by Eric Hargis, Executive Director of the National PTA. www.blogs.edweek.org/