Response to Fawn Johnson’s article in the National Journal on May 14th regarding the Common Core State Standards.
By Louisiana Superintendent John White
The Common Core State Standards are more than a collection of goals for schools to meet. They reflect the essence of the American spirit: high standards, freedom to chart a path to achieving those standards, and an insistence on merit. The Standards were created by state leaders –not federal bureaucrats – who recognized the critical need for America to maintain its role as an economic leader in the world and joined with educators to address our slipping global competitiveness.
Beyond providing a framework of clear and consistent skills for math and English, the Common Core State Standards embody the idea that our states can themselves address our most critical policy challenges. States across the country, including Louisiana, have never done more to recognize the critical role they play in leading on education. At the state level, leaders are advancing policies that insist on accountability for outcomes and put power in the hands of families to choose what’s right for their children.
Common Core is among those initiatives states have embraced. The Standards’ focused guidance allows educators to understand clearly what students need to achieve in order to compete internationally, while empowering teachers with flexibility to help students meet those learning goals.
States are responsible for education systems that increase student achievement, and most have asserted the importance of the Common Core initiative as part of a states-led revolution in our field. Nothing could be more important or more American.