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Alliance President Bob Wise Addresses the Common Core Naysayers

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February 29, 2012 04:28 pm


Following up on Alliance Senior Fellow Robert Rothman’s blog post from last week, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, responds to individuals who are skeptical of the impact that the common core state standards will have on student achievement.

Writing for the National Journal Education Experts blog, Gov. Wise says the naysayers underestimate the combined efforts of the states as well as the strong voice of the business community. His complete blog post appears below:

The naysayers at Brookings are the same ones who protest the validity of international education standards. In a global economy, they don’t like comparisons. Then they don’t like voluntary efforts by the states to educate their students to meet these global challenges.

They also underestimate the combined efforts of the states. The development and adoption by 46 states representing 90 percent of all students was a historic event in US education history. The effort was led by Republican and Democratic governors and chief state school officers. While implementation is a long commitment, there is no reason that the same justification and commitment won’t be present in this next stage.

Beginning in 2006-long before President Obama and Race to the Top-state leaders found the will and the commitment to begin developing these standards. They worked collaboratively, both among themselves and with business, education and policymaker groups. By jointly arriving at these standards, they also established the precedent for sharing the best practices of implementation with each other. The naysayers want to reference an old model where each state acted individually on almost every education decision or practice. With the common standards, states can work jointly much more easily than before because the education goals are the same.

Don’t underestimate the strong voice of the business community who largely have expressed active support for the common core standards-see the $18 million grant-the largest in its history-from General Electric, as well as support from various business leaders. Nothing reinforces a state policymaker’s resolve like having the CEO of a major employer emphatically declare support for a measure.

Read responses from other education experts on the National Journal blog at

Learn more about the Common Core State Standards at


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