Educators, public confused on core standards

Voice: November 2014 

Leave it to Gov. Tom Corbett to take a confusing and complicated situation and make it worse.

A year after praising Pennsylvania’s Common Core standards, adapted to meet the new national Common Core requirements, and already being implemented in public schools across the state, the governor has called for “continued public review.’’ 

Corbett did so in a blistering press release in which he blasted the national Common Core standards by saying his goal is to “ensure that any influence of the national Common Core state standards are eradicated from Pennsylvania.’’

In addition to realigning curriculum to meet the new requirements of the so-called “Pennsylvania Core,’’ a process which school districts across the state have been working on the past few years, both the Keystone Exams and the PSSAs are to be based on the new standards this year.

“If Gov. Corbett’s plan is to cause confusion and chaos in the public schools, he’s succeeded,’’ said PSEA President Michael J. Crossey. “Suddenly, he is opposed to the Pennsylvania Core Standards his administration spent three years developing and that educators have spent years planning to implement.’’

Administrators and educators across the state have been left scrambling to determine how to proceed.

“Districts do not have the money or the time to invest in the constantly changing political debate on standards,’’ Easton Area Superintendent John Reinhart told The Allentown Morning Call. “Someone should decide what they want us to teach in our schools and let us go about the business of teaching it.’’

Crossey noted that the curve thrown by Corbett on the core standards comes as school districts across the state are still reeling from the governor’s nearly $1 billion in school funding cuts.

“This governor has been a disaster for public education,’’ Crossey said. “And it’s our students who are being harmed the most.’’






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