The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States

The Common Core:  A Poor Choice for States
by Joy Pullmann*

A few highlights:

  • Public dialogue on the Common Core is necessary to ensure high quality.
  • Research has demonstrated that education standards have no effect on student achievement.
  • No state, school district, or even school has ever used the Common Core. It has no track record.
  • Comparing the Common Core to the Core Knowledge Foundation’s metrics immediately reveals a quality gap.
  • Georgia testing officials said previous tests cost taxpayers $5 per student per year, but Common Core tests would cost $22 per student per year.
  • No one really knows how much it will cost to implement the Common Core. Most states did not estimate costs before adopting it.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has issued regulations allowing the sharing of personally identifiable student information without parent consent.
  • U.S. schools obviously need to improve. But will the Common Core help? No. On the contrary, it contains many harmful provisions, and its full effects are yet unknown.

*   About the Author
Joy Pullmann ( is a research fellow of The Heartland Institute and
managing editor of School Reform News, a national monthly publication. In that capacity, she
has interviewed and produced podcasts with many of the leading figures in school reform. She
previously was assistant editor for American Magazine at the American Enterprise Institute.
Pullmann has been published by the New York Times, Washington Examiner, The Weekly
Standard, Washington Times, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Salt Lake Tribune,,
National Review Online, Real Clear Policy, and various other U.S. newspapers and online media
outlets. She has written a series of Research & Commentary reports on the Parent Trigger, a new
school reform idea sweeping the country, and is coauthor with Joseph L. Bast of “Design
Guidelines for Parent Triggers” (Heartland Institute, 2012).
Pullmann has taught middle and high school students history, literature, and debate and has
written high school public speaking curriculum. She has traveled nationwide to speak at
prominent venues including the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the National
Right to Life Convention, and statewide education conferences. She has been a guest on
numerous talk shows, including the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal.
Pullmann graduated from the Hillsdale College honors program with an English major and
journalism concentration. She received statewide competitive collegiate honors for her reporting
and commentary and ranked in the top 25 nationally in parliamentary debate.

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