Common Core English Language (ELA) and Math Quick Facts


  • Common Core’s ELA standards are not rigorous. ELA was designed to allow mid-level grade 11 students to enroll in credit-bearing courses in a “non-selective college”.
  • Contrary to supporters’ claims, Common Core’s standards are NOT internationally benchmarked.
  • There is no research to support Common Core’s ELA emphasis on writing instead of reading.
  • There is no research to support Common Core’s stress in ELA on informational texts versus classic literary study.
  • There is also no research to support the value of “cold” reading of historical documents, as promoted by the chief architect of Common Core’s ELA standards.


  • The Math standards are not high reaching. Like the ELA, the Math standards prepare students for admission to non-selective community colleges only.
  • Views Algebra II as college ready; students will not be prepared for STEM college coursework. Only 39% of students who enter college with Algebra II completion graduate with a 4 year degree and only 2.1% graduate with a STEM degree.
  • Unusual and unproven approach to geometry.
  • Include significant mathematical sophistication written at a level beyond understanding of most parents, students, administrators, decision makers and many teachers.
  • Lack coherence and clarity to be consistently interpreted by students, parents, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, textbook developers/publishers, and assessment developers.
  • Standards are inappropriately placed, including delayed requirement for standard algorithms, which will hinder student success and waste valuable instructional time. Delays development of some key concepts and skills.
  • Treats important topics unevenly. This will result in inefficient use of instructional and practice time. Math Standards are not well organized at the high school level. Some important topics are insufficiently covered. The standards are not divided into defined courses.


For Additional Information on the Problems behind Common Core Math Standards see:

Lowering the bar: How common Core Fails to prepare High School Students for STEM, Professor James Milgram and Professor Sandra Stotsky, Pioneer Institute, White Paper #103, September 2013.

A Review of the Common Core Math Standards: Testimony to the California Academic Standards Commission, Dr. James Milgram  July 7, 2010.

A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards, Barry Garelick,  Atlantic Monthly, November 2012.

Why Young Kids are Struggling with Common Core Math,  Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post.   November 9, 2013.

Common Core’s Newer Math, David Bonagura Jr. National Review,  January 17, 2014.

Videos:  Common Core’s Effect on Math Education , Dr. Jim Milgram and Common Core’s Effect on Higher Education, Dr. Jim Milgram.  Notre Dame Common Core Conference, September 9, 2013. Both available on You Tube, see link on our resources page.

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