Massachusetts, a critical ally of Common Core, has now joined the states that have rejected the federal math and English standards. The Massachusetts State Board of Education has voted to forego Common Core testing in favor of redesigning its own state exam, an influential move from a national education leader that may hasten the end of a national high-stakes testing era, while challenging education experts to come up with a better alternative.
It was Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education in Massachusetts, who helped develop Common Core aligned tests. On his recommendation, the State Board of Education decided that Massachusetts would go it alone and abandon the multistate test in favor of one to be developed for just this state. The move will cost an extra year and unknown millions of dollars.
The backlash against Common Core has grown steadily since states first implemented the initiative. Public opposition, in addition to the formation of an unusual alliance between conservatives and unions, are all in a fight against a common enemy. Only 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, are currently scheduled to continue with PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests aligned with Common Core standards.
A universal national curriculum leaves too many students behind. The Collapse of Common Core is happening now and we can only hope that the federal government will let it fail and end all funding of federal education initiatives.