Dr Sandra Stotsky and Jane Robbins pull the curtain back on who wrote the CCSS.
Common Core’s national K-12 standards, in English language arts (ELA) and math, supposedly emerged from a state-led process in which experts, educators, and parents were well represented. But the people who wrote the standards did not represent the most important stakeholders. Nor were they qualified to draft standards intended to “transform instruction for every child.” And the Validation Committee that was created to put the seal of approval on the drafters’ work was useless if not misleading, both in its membership and in the process they had to follow. One of us served as the ELA content expert on that Committee and can attest to its deficiencies.
For many months after the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) was launched in 2009, the identities of the people drafting the “college- and career-readiness standards” were unknown to the public. CCSSI eventually revealed the names of the 24 members of the “Standards Development Work Group” in response to complaints from professional organizations and parent groups about the lack of transparency.
What did this Work Group look like? Focusing only on ELA, the make-up of the Work Group was quite astonishing: It included no English professors or high-school English teachers. How could legitimate ELA standards be created without the very two groups of educators who know the most about what students should be and could be learning in secondary English classes?