2. Is the Common Core already being implemented?

Forty-five states, four territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted the Common Core State Standards after their release on June 2, 2010. Minnesota adopted only the English language arts standards.1 All 45 states adopting both sets of standards became members of one or both of the consortia developing standardized assessments. These states committed to fully implement the standards and replace their state assessments with whatever tests the consortia produce.2 However, since the initial adoption of the standards, consortia membership in PARCC and Smarter Balanced has dropped to only 36 states collectively. Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have refused to adopt the Common Core altogether. Despite the states’ rapid adoption of the Common Core, implementing the standards in public schools has been gradual. A study conducted by two education policy firms found that in 2011, just seven of the 45 states that had adopted the Common Core had fully developed plans for implementing the standards. In 2012, only 14 more states had produced complete plans.3

Even though some states have not adopted the Common Core and many have been slow to implement its provisions, the Common Core is already impacting students across the country. The Common Core was consulted as a curriculum authority in the formulation of the National Sexuality Education Standards.4 In the name of the Common Core’s sophisticated writing expectations, a high school teacher in New York tasked her students with persuading her in five paragraphs or less that Jews are evil and that she should be loyal to the Third Reich.5

As the possibility of widespread impact becomes increasingly apparent and the pedagogical weakness of the standards is exposed, states that originally adopted the standards are scrambling to delay or defund implementation. It is also becoming clear that the predicted cost of implementing the Common Core is much higher than the amount of money the Department of Education used to persuade states to accept de facto national standards and assessments.6

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah have withdrawn from the state consortia developing assessments aligned to the Common Core standards.7

USA map

What is the status of Common Core in my state?

Document updated July 21, 2014

  1 See “In the States,” Common Core Standards State Initiative, accessed June 8, 2013, http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states.

  2 Tabitha Grossman, Ryan Reyna, and Stephanie Shipton, Realizing the Potential: How Governors Can Lead Effective Implementation of the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association, 2011), 10, accessed June 8, 2013, http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/1110CCSSIIMPLEMENTATIONGUIDE.PDF.

  3 Education First and Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, A National Perspective on States’ Progress in Common Core State Standards Implementation Planning (2013), 6, http://www.edweek.org/media/movingforward_ef_epe_020413.pdf. Three key areas of implementation were considered in this study: teacher professional development, curriculum guides or instructional material, and teacher-evaluation system.

  4 Future of Sex Education Initiative, National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K–12(Future of Sex Education Initiative, 2012), 6, accessed August 16, 2013, http://www.ashaweb.org/files/public/sexuality%20education/josh-fose-standards.pdf.

  5 Scott Waldman, “School Apologizes for ‘Nazi’ Writing Assignment,” Times Union, April 12, 2013, accessed June 10, 2013, http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/School-apology-Think-like-a-Nazi-task-vs-Jews-4428669.php#photo-4458888.

  6 In Texas, Race to the Top funding would have amounted to about $75 per student. The cost of implementing the Common Core in Texas would be approximately $635 per student. See Rick Perry, Letter to the Honorable Arne Duncan, Office of the Governor, January 13, 2010, accessed June 10, 2013, http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-DuncanArne201001130344.pdf.

  7 Evelyn B. Stacey, “Alabama Exits National Common Core Tests,” The Heartland Institute, February 13, 2013, accessed June 8, 2013, http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/02/13/alabama-exits-national-common-core-tests; Catherine Gewertz, “Alaska Withdraws from Smarter Balanced Testing Group,” Education Week, January 15, 2014, accessed March 1, 2014, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/01/alaska_withdraws_from_smarter_.html; “Governor Rick Scott Announces Path Forward for High Education Standards,” Rick Scott 45th Governor of Florida, September 23, 2013, accessed October 4, 2013, http://www.flgov.com/2013/09/23/governor-rick-scott-announces-path-forward-for-high-education-standards-decision-to-withdraw-from-parcc/; “Georgia Withdrawing from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium,” July 22, 2013, accessed August 1, 2013, http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=123; Indiana Governor Mike Pence, “Governor Pence Announces Intent to Withdraw Indiana as a Member from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Governing Board,” news release, July 29, 2013, accessed August 16, 2013,  http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=7/29/2013&todate=7/29/2013&display=Day&type=public&eventidn=115942&view=EventDetails&information_id=185774; Celia Llopis-Jepsen, “Kansas Opts to Create Its Own Common Core Tests,” Topeka Capital Journal, December 10, 2013, accessed December 13, 2013, http://cjonline.com/news/2013-12-10/kansas-opts-create-its-own-common-core-tests; Catherine Gewertz, “Kentucky Withdraws From PARCC Consortium,” Education Week, January 31, 2014, accessed March 1, 2014, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/01/kentucky_withdraws_from_parcc_.html; Andrea Eger, “Oklahoma to Drop Testing Consortium, Develop Own Tests, Barresi Says,”  Tulsa World, July 2, 2013, accessed July 10, 2013, http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Oklahoma_to_drop_testing_consortium_develop_own_tests/20130702_11_A1_CUTLIN399354; Catherine Gerwertz, “Pennsylvania Signals Departure From Consortia,” Education Week, June 24, 2013, accessed March 1, 2014, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2013/06/pennsylvania_signals_departure_from_test_consortia.html. “Utah Withdraws from Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Developing Common Core Tests,” Huffington Post, August 7, 2012, accessed June 8, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/utah-withdraws-from-smart_n_1752261.html.