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Common Core Myth Buster: Separating Fact From Fiction

Myth 1: Common Core is an effort of the federal government to nationalize education and force states to teach all students the same way.

Fact: Common Core is a state-led initiative by governors, state superintendents, and nonprofit agencies to modernize education standards. It is research-based and molded with more than 10,000 comments from the public. The Oklahoma State Board of Education, to which the Oklahoma Legislature has given the task of adopting standards, voluntarily adopted the Common Core in 2010. Oklahoma received no incentives from the federal government for taking this action.

Myth 2: Common Core standards are an intrusion of student privacy rights and will allow student data to be inappropriately tracked. 

Fact 2: Regardless of adopting the Common Core, states remain in control of their students’ private information, just as they are now.

Myth 3: Oklahoma’s standards are superior to Common Core, "even by Common Core supporters."

Fact: While Oklahoma’s PASS standards are high compared to many other states, children are still leaving school unprepared for what lies ahead. In fact, 42% of Oklahoma entering college freshman require remedial courses.

Myth 4: Common Core represents a national curriculum and implementing 100% of Common Core means that the standards tell teachers precisely how they must teach.

Fact: Common Core is a set of standards that outline what students should know at a particular grade level in order to be on track to mastering skills and content to be prepared for college and beyond. Curriculum – the map, schedule, and method for teaching standards – will be a “locally controlled” decision left up to individual school board members and school administration and teachers to construct.

Myth 5: Common Core State Standards dictate what texts teachers will use for instruction.

Fact: Common Core State Standards define what students need to know; they do not define what teachers should teach or how students should learn. The standards will actually help preserve freedom for curriculum choice. These decisions are left to each state and local teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards will continue to make important decisions about curriculum and how their school systems are operated.

Myth 6: Common Core State Standards include Controversial Science Curriculum. 

Fact: Contrary to purported myths about Common Core, these standards encompass only English Language Arts and Mathematics, focusing on improving needed critical thinking and analytic skills.  State and local officials will continue to make important curriculum decisions.

MYTH 7: Oklahoma only chose to adopt Common Core because they wanted federal Race to the Top (RTTT) stimulus funds or were incentivized by the opportunity to receive a no child left behind (NCLB) waiver.

Fact: Oklahoma did not adopt Common Core when it applied for the first round of RTTT funds, and did not receive RTTT funds after adopting Common Core standards in 2010.

MYTH 8: 70% of the texts read in English-language arts classes must be information-text in 12th grade, which prevents students from learning culture through high quality literature.

Fact: Common Core standards call for 70% of ALL texts (not 70% of English Language Arts texts) read in 12th grade to be nonfiction, which includes content area texts, such as science and history. This was done to support literacy instruction in other content areas and underscore the role that all teachers must play in literacy efforts. This will help ensure students are graduating high school adequately prepared to read rigorous college and career-level material, a majority of which are informational texts. Classic literature will still very much be a part of curriculum taught in Oklahoma Language Arts classrooms.

MYTH 9: the Common Core will be adopted in place of all Oklahoma academic standards in all subject areas.

Fact: The Common Core standards provide new standards for English Language Arts and math ONLY, not social studies, science and technical subjects.


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