Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Duncan: Common Core Isn't The Only Set Of College- And Career-Ready Standards


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testifies before Congress.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan fielded questions about the Common Core from members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Tuesday, reports Alyson Klein for Education Week:

It took 90 minutes for lawmakers to finally bring up the biggest thing happening in education policy these days: the Common Core State Standards. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., asked Duncan whether the federal government is trying to create a national curriculum.

Duncan took umbrage at the suggestion. “Let’s not get caught up in hysteria and drama,” he said. He noted that the Education Department is legally prohibited from putting in place a federal curriculum.

Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana, the top Republican on the subcommittee overseeing K-12 policy, also asked about language in the administration’s budget request that would provide $389 million in assessment grants to states that have adopted college- and career-ready standards. … Rokita wanted to know if there any other set of college- and career-ready standards, besides common core. Yes, Duncan said. Both Virginia and Minnesota have college- and career-ready standards and aren’t in common core. (Actually, Minnesota is a halfway state. It’s adopted common core in language arts, but not math.)

As we’ve written before, implementation of the Common Core is on hold in Indiana after state lawmakers approved a “pause” proposal to give Hoosiers time to review the standards.

The measure gives the State Board of Education until July 2014 to adopt standards that “meet national and international benchmarks for college and career readiness standards and be aligned with postsecondary educational expectations.” It’s likely whatever Indiana ends up with will build on the nationally-crafted academic standards currently adopted by 45 states.

But as Duncan’s response to Rokita illustrates, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Common Core.

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  • Erin Tuttle

    Good luck proving the Common Core will “meet national and international benchmarks for college and career readiness standards and be aligned with postsecondary educational expectations” they are FAR from it. See

    • TJ

      When the title of the white paper implies that the CCSS is a curriculum, I can’t bring myself to even make it past the cover page. It’s not, and has never intended to be, a curriculum. In fact, the authors of the CCSS emphatically state that the standards are not a curriculum.

      • Lee Barrios

        TJ – Not an educator are you? If there were only standards with no high stakes standardized test attached which ipso facto requires an aligned curriculum, then they could rightfully be claimed “just standards.” They are NOT just standards.

  • duchesslt

    You believe Duncan? LOL! Perhaps there are ‘other standards’ – but the states who put common core in place got NCLB waivers and Race to the Top funding – also two state consortiums funded by Duncan are creating the tests – don’t you think curriculum will align to that and ultimately result in defacto nationalization as states will likely buy curriculum that will help kids do better on the test?
    I’m not for the hysteria either – I think the standards are good – I think the implementation and testing model is severely flawed

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