What Are Pennsylvania’s New “Common Core” Standards?

August 18, 2013 

Common Core Standards

This fall, Pennsylvania schools are set to implement the new “Common Core” standards. The “Common Core” standards are implemented voluntarily by individual states and were designed to replace state standards with a set of goals agreed upon by governors and educators from across the country.

The national education standards promoted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education have become a subject of debate in Pennsylvania and other states.

Governor Tom Corbett’s administration recently sought to calm the growing concerns regarding these standards by dispelling some of the “false claims” about the new measures, according to a philly.com article by Mary Wilson.

Wilson’s article notes that Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Carolyn Dumaresq assured state lawmakers that the new standards include “no mandated curricula or reading lists, and no nationally dictated tests.”

As reported by John Finnerty in the Meadville Tribune, Dumaresq also insisted that the Pennsylvania Common Core standards are not being put into place to collect more data about students, another fear expressed by those opposed to the new standards.

Though Pennsylvania’s standards have been under development for several years, Corbett delayed implementation until this fall to better address the concerns regarding funding and “ineffective top-down education,” Wilson reported.

Details on the Pennsylvania Common Core standards can be found on the Department of Education website. The site details standards for both math and language arts. The plan is to implement the new standards for the Class of 2017, including subject-specific standardized tests required for graduation.

“The Common Core push is intended to help ensure that students graduate from high school ready for work, college or the military,” Finnerty’s article explains. “Critics argue that the state has not adequately explained how the change in standards will achieve that goal.” Some proponents of the Common Core believe the standards are already in place in most districts, and started with the push for the Keystone Exams in Algebra, Literature, and Biology.

We’ll continue to keep you posted as more information is released regarding the Common Core standards in Pennsylvania. As always, A+ Test Prep and Tutoring is available to best help your child or student succeed, keeping you up-to-date with the latest trends and standards in education.


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