Common Core in private schools

Monday, October 15, 2012
Bob Kellogg (

Forty-six states have adopted the Common Core Standards heralded by the Obama administration, and as one policy scholar reports, that includes private schools.

More than 100 Roman Catholic dioceses, along with a number of Lutheran and other denominations of Christian schools nationwide, have decided to adopt the standards. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute says that is bad news.

McCluskey, Neal (Cato Institute)"It appears that some private schools are adopting the … Common Core Standards because they feel they have to, and they have to because they think they need to be able to show that they're doing a better job than the public schools, and then that means they have to use the same standards as the public schools to really make that argument," he explains.

But McCluskey adds that good news is connected with this trend.

"For one thing, the national standards themselves, the Common Core itself isn't necessarily bad; it could be a good set of standards," he notes.

"So private schools have the benefit that they don't have to take it, and if it turns out that it's no good or doesn't work as well as the curriculum they used to have, they can still get out of it."

The Common Core State Standards involve just two subjects: English language arts and math. They were authored by two groups: the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

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