Myth of the Month: Common Core Is Dumbing Down Education for the College-Bound

CCSS lays the groundwork for students to gain the foundational knowledge that they need to succeed after graduation.
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Here we go again...

Yet another misleading statement about the Common Core State Standards is making the rounds. Let's analyze this onslaught of misinformation to separate the myths from the facts.

The myth du jour asserts that Common Core will fail to prepare students for college and instead will actually dumb down education. Yes, you read that right; detractors have gone so far as to forecast "dumber" students as a result of these higher standards for achievement.

This specious argument against CCSS falls apart quickly. Careful analysis of the standards verifies that they align with those in the highest-performing countries on international comparisons, and they have received the highest possible rating for content and rigor from the conservative Fordham Institute, a tireless advocate for higher standards.

Let me be specific: in many states, only a small number of students are currently on a trajectory to take Algebra I in eighth grade. Common Core turns that practice on its head by aiming to prepare all students for algebra in eighth grade, which will put many more on a path to college. Common Core also exceeds most states' previous high school standards by assuming that all students will take Algebra 2 at the very least. States have added calculus standards for accelerated math pathways so, if anything, CCSS can help elevate even more students to fast-tracks that will prepare them for college-level math coursework.

CCSS lays the groundwork for students to gain the foundational knowledge that they need to succeed after graduation. What Common Core does not do is return schools to the subpar, inconsistent standards that have helped keep our students far from the top of international rankings in math. Before Common Core, states set the bar on their standards and tests so low that they sold parents and their children a false bill of goods. All too often, students' first clue that they are not ready for college comes after they arrive on campus.

Parents and students are ill-served by the absurd claims that have dominated this conversation for too long. We owe it to them stop perpetuating myths and start taking high standards seriously.

In a new "Myth of the Month" series, Change the Equation CEO Linda Rosen will examine and debunk the misleading claims that are dumbing down the conversation around Common Core State Standards.

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