In This Documentary
The Common Core is a big change for public schools, but most Americans know little about it. Learn what Common Core is, where it came from, and why it’s become so controversial.
Pick up the newspaper or check out social media and you're going to find plenty of opinions about the Common Core. Decide for yourself what you think by reading the standards themselves.
Teachers in Reno, Nevada, were skeptical of the Common Core at first. But they have embraced the new standards as a way to bring better education to students who are struggling in school -- and to kids who are ahead.
In the United States, education standards come with tests. Most students haven't been tested on the Common Core yet. But in one state where they have, the controversy is so intense that it's threatening to bring down the Common Core altogether.
New Common Core tests are supposed to measure students' ability to think critically, analyze information, and cite evidence as well as test their conceptual understanding of mathematics and their ability to apply math to the real world. See how you'd do on a Common Core test.
New York teacher Kevin Glynn was once a big fan of the Common Core, but he says the standardized testing that's come along with it is reducing students to test scores and narrowing what gets taught in schools.
Executive Editor: Stephen Smith
Correspondent and Producer: Emily Hanford
Editor: Catherine Winter
Digital Producer: Andy Kruse
Audio Mixing: Craig Thorson
Actor (“The New Colossus”): Clark Young
Assistant Producer: Suzanne Pekow
ARW staff: Laurie Stern and Samara Freemark
Interns: Dylan Peers McCoy and Minna Zhou
Project Manager: Ellen Guettler
Managing Director, National Content Development and Arts & Ideas Programming: Peter Clowney
Special thanks to Ben Shapiro and to many educators in Kentucky who provided valuable insight and expertise. Thanks also to Kohnstamm Communications and the Hatcher Group.
Support for “Greater Expectations” comes from Lumina Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. A note of disclosure: The Spencer and Lumina Foundations have funded research on aspects of the Common Core, while the Hewlett Foundation has supported research and development of the Common Core. The foundations did not influence ARW’s coverage of the issue.