June 16, 2020

Dear Editor:

Lately, I have received criticism because I have referenced Common Core on campaign signs.

Most individuals involved in education in Tennessee including parents, clearly understand that the current Tennessee Education Standards that “replaced” Common Core were nothing more than glorified re-branding… or as some say here in the South: Lipstick on a pig.

While Tennessee got rid of the name “Common Core” in House Bill 1035 4 years ago, the standards are still alive and well in Tennessee.  Former Governor Haslam clearly stated that Common Core was not going to be repealed but “tweaked.”  Because Common Core is copyrighted, once a word is changed, the Common Core brand can no longer be used. Books and curriculum currently being used in the classroom still reference Common Core.

After a review of the new Tennessee mathematics standards by Dr. James Milgram, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University and the only math standard expert on the Common Core validation committee, had this to say, “I’m afraid that the Tennessee math standards are just a clone of the Common Core Standards, but, in many ways, as bad as Common Core is, the corresponding Tennessee standards are worse. Perhaps the most discouraging of the early grade Common Core Standards is 1.OA.6 and its virtually identical standards in second and third grade”…

Let’s talk about the English Language Arts standards. One 5th grade ELA teacher in our Rutherford County School system has remarked,

“Hello! I teach 5th grade ELA (reading, grammar, and writing) and Social Studies. Yes, Common Core was re-branded by Tennessee and many other states. My standards are the same or slightly reworded as before. …did people not realize that? If not, they sure didn’t dig very deep because it was just re-branded with minimal changes. I’m not sure about Math – but I can tell you that my children’s homework was still Common Core.  As far as curriculum and textbooks, they all still cater to Common Core.”

It is also of interest to note that HB1035 never said “repeal Common Core” not once throughout the entire bill. So for the time being I will continue to say, we need to


Lisa W Moore

Rutherford County School Board

Zone 3