Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm / Updated at 4:42 pm
Survey: States sticking with Common Core standards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Education officials in most of the states that have adopted Common Core standards say they will go forward with the benchmarks for reading, writing and math despite objections, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The independent nonprofit Center on Education Policy at George Washington University said 37 of the 40 states that responded to its survey this spring considered it unlikely that they would reverse, limit or change their decision to adopt the Common Core education standards during the upcoming school year. The center didn't identify the states that participated but noted that some of the states that didn't respond were dealing with pushback - a factor that could affect the results.

The new Common Core standards replace a hodgepodge of educational goals that had varied greatly from state to state. The federal government was not involved in the state-led effort to develop them but has encouraged the project. The only states not to adopt the standards are Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia. Minnesota adopted the reading but not the math standards.

While proponents say the new standards will better prepare students, critics worry they'll set a national curriculum for public schools rather than letting states decide what is best for their students.

Efforts to slow down or derail the standards sprung up this year in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling the standards an "inappropriate overreach."

Maria Ferguson, executive director of the Center on Education Policy, dismissed the efforts against the standards. "School districts and states are practical," she said. "The resources that have been put into this are pretty profound. And you have to think about, if not this, what?"

Most states described overcoming resistance to the Common Core as either a minor or nonexistent challenge, the survey found. Only two states found that that overcoming resistance from colleges and universities was a major challenge. And only five felt that overcoming resistance from outside the education system was a major challenge.

The opposition, however, wasn't convinced.

"I still think there are lingering questions, to say the very least," said Jonathan Butcher, education director for the Phoenix-based conservative Goldwater Institute, which has opposed the standards. He said the big issue is the rollout of new tests designed around the new standards. The tests are electronic, and one concern is that states lack the bandwidth and enough computers to administer them.

Two upcoming reports from the Center on Education Policy will look specifically at testing issues, Ferguson said.

People who say the federal government has gone too far point to the money provided to consortiums developing Common Core tests. They also note that the Education Department encouraged states to adopt the standards to compete for "Race to the Top" grants and seek waivers around some of the unpopular proficiency requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law.

Given that controversy, the survey asked states whether they wanted federal help - both financial and through an update to the federal education law - implementing the standards. Thirty states said they'd like federal help with the rollout of new tests tied to the Common Core and teacher and principal training.

The survey noted that lawmakers had started work on reauthorizing No Child Left Behind.

"To date," the report concluded, "the federal government has played an indirect but significant role in states' adoption and implementation of the Common Core ... A key question is whether the opponents of the Common Core in Congress will use the reauthorization to curtail the current federal role or whether supporters will expand federal assistance for this major new national education policy."

Oil industry ad campaign mocks Nebraska cowboys who protested Keystone XL pipeline
In Omaha, bus tour calls for hourly minimum wage over $10
Fremont police searching for missing 56-year-old man
Michelle Obama gets resume from girl with jobless dad
Amazon launches grocery service for Prime members
Cabela's 1st-quarter sales down 21 percent as gun, ammo sales dip
Joe Ellenberger's UFC debut pushed back
Omaha’s Straight Shot Accelerator hones its focus for latest class of 7 invited companies
This is what thousands of pounds of discarded Omaha computers looks like
Help Spirit World kill its bottles
Prosecutor: Baby might be alive if day care employer had spoken up
6 tips for preventing pink eye
Lyft launches tonight in Omaha; police won't ticket drivers while service is free
NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Omaha senator seeks minimum wage ballot measure
FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Ladies Home Journal ceasing subscription service
Emails show little work by Iowa official after cut
7 common myths about the pill
Omaha doctors restore vision for the blind in Nepal for $20
House hopeful Tom Brewer says leukemia in remission
Breaking Brad: 117-mph riding lawnmowers and 12-scoop banana splits
Police probe bank robbery
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
FROM THE BLOGS »
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
By Nancy Gaarder / World-Herald staff writer • Apr 17 at h:nn am/pm
Nancy's Almanac, April 16, 2014: Yes, it's been drier and colder than normal Nancy's Almanac, April 16, 2014: Yes, it's been drier and colder than normal
By Nancy Gaarder / World-Herald staff reporter • Apr 16 at h:nn am/pm
Jump to a blog:
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »