An enormous effort to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is underway in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia. Districts are training staff, field-testing assessments, and evaluating technology requirements. Teachers are rewriting curriculum and instruction to prepare students for more rigorous coursework. Some states are further ahead than others. And as the 2014 – 2015 implementation deadline draws near, it’s likely that the road has been—and will continue to be—a bit rocky.
But schools are forging ahead with the initiative—even as it faces opponents who are determined to mislabel the effort as everything from “Obamacore” to a “national curriculum.” The Common Core is a set of voluntary K–12 standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The White House did not create the initiative, nor is it leading it. The standards were developed by governors and state school officials, with input from a wide range of educators, content experts, national organizations (including NEA), and community groups.