Educators, Parents Debate the Common Core

Sue, Jason


APA Citation

CBS Sunday Morning. (2014, September 14). Educators, parents debate the Common Core. Retrieved from


Despite being a federal initiative, Common Core was started as nationwide collaboration from the state level to develop nationwide standards. 45 states and D.C. initially adopted Common Core and were offered grant money in return for participation. One of the benefits of Common Core was that it raised the standards of states like Tennessee and allowed more accurate comparisons of the academic achievements rates of various states. Despite these benefits, implementation of the Common Core has not been without pushback.

Many conservatives felt that the federal government should not be dictating curriculum even if it was the states who had the power to accept or reject Common Core. Opposition to Common Core was also strong in Progressives states. One of the criticisms of progressives was that the standards that Common Core set were unrealistic; and to support their argument, they singled out have specific test questions as being too difficult for certain grade levels. Education can be condensed into a series of increased standards. While Common Core may be flawed, it was a step in the right direction.


This is an outstanding synopsis of the controversy surrounding Common Core.



The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind

Sue, Jason


APA Citation

The Understood Team. (n.d.). The difference between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from


This resource gives a side by side comparison of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In both acts, the onus is on the States to hold students accountable. One of primary differences between the two acts is that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is more flexible about the of setting academic goals than its predecessor the No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Also, NCLB did not limit the proportion of students who could take an alternative test whereas ESSA limited the proportion to 1% of test takers. As a measure of accountability, the ESSA allows a wide range of factors such as reading and math test scores, high school graduation rates, as well as other optional factors such as kindergarten readiness. In contrast, the NCLB’s measures of accountability focused on academic achievement relying primarily on reading and math test scores.


The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind is a great overview on the differences between Every Student Succeeds Act and its predecessor (No Child Left Behind). It doesn’t cover the minutia but is perfect for someone who only needs a summary of these two pieces of legislation.



Finding inspiration in the Common Core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee

Inna Levine
CO-Collaboration Strategies
Cravey, N. (2013). Finding inspiration in the common core: An uncommon opportunity to refine the role of the school library and technology planning committee. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 18-22. Retrieved from

This article talks about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for all areas of curriculum and motivates school librarians to change their roles in the school to be better “curators of the school library collections, innovators in the use of instructional technology and leaders in curriculum planning. The author explains that by focusing on these aspects, teacher librarians can rebuild (or continue building) a library program that best accommodates the school and focuses on long-term goals. The article was particularly insightful as it provided concrete examples of how teachers librarians and classroom teachers need to work together in the redesigning of the curriculum.

Independent School Librarians and Common Core: What Are We Doing?

Brandt, Alisa

MacLean, C. D. (2013, December 25). Independent school librarians and Common
    Core: What are we doing? [Blog post]. Retrieved from Independent Ideas

CO-Collaboration Strategies
CO-School Organization
IL-Communication of Products

I have had over 15 years of experience working in independent school libraries and now eight MLIS courses under my belt. I have noticed a serious lack of scholarly library research materials directed entirely at independent school libraries so my goal is to find materials that will support this underrepresented population.
Most independent schools do not rely on government funding and thus do not have to implement programs such as Common Core. The idea is that the curriculum will have already included those standards and content and more. So, it follows that independent school libraries will have other standards and goals to help the school accomplish their mission.
This article from the Association of Independent School Librarian’s blog Independent Ideas is about how independent school librarians addressed the emergence of Common Core Standards in their libraries. As will most standards and guidelines, independent school librarians tend to study up on the newest state and national standards and look for ways to integrate the best of what would apply to their schools. C. D. MacLean offered her library’s solution of using the AASL CCSS Crosswalk in combination with their school’s own standards to create a document that will help compare their alignment with the state standards. This would allow the librarians to focus on areas that will meet their school standards while including the state standards.
There are also some suggestions of useful LibGuides and an iPad app that will help Language Arts teachers integrate technology into the classroom.
Evaluation: Seeing examples of how independent school librarians are working with state standards helps me understand how I can apply them to my own library. The links and the app suggestion are also very helpful.

Complicated Politics to the Core

McGuinn, P. (2015). Complicated politics to the Core. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(1), 14-19. doi:10.1177/0031721715602229


This article discusses the growing opposition from teachers, educators and parents to the Common Core Standards implemented nationwide in 2014-2015. The author discusses issues including how Common Core was established, how it was implemented and the effect of the monetary incentives promised by the Obama administration in order to convince states to voluntarily adopt the standards of Common Core. As a result of the Obama administration endorsement, opponents view implementation as a “federal Initiative” and as unconstitutional. This author provided a detailed discussion of relevant topics such as culture wars, privacy, corporate concerns, and data mining related to test scores.  While Common Core has been widely criticized, the author noted that surveys show that “most people do not know much about common core and that much of what they know about it is incorrect.” (McGuinn, 2015).


The article did not address certain practical issues, such as how a student can opt-out of CC, how long it would take, or what curriculum they would follow instead of Common Core.  Further, the discussion of federal over-reach was vague.  The author suggests that Common Core was implemented too quickly, leaving teachers and students confused on what to teach, how to teach it, and how to study in order to comply with Common Core requirements. As quoted by the author, “most people do not know much about common core and that much of what they know about it is incorrect.” (McGuinn, 2015).