The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Common Core

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,275 times Debate No: 72103
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Common Core has become a hot button topic in the United States as more and more schools start to adapt to the standards. These standards are some of the most high-quality standards produced in the subject areas of Mathematics and English Language Arts. According to Core Standards, the Common Core website, "For years, the academic progress of our nation"s students has been stagnant, and we have lost ground to our international peers. Particularly in subjects such as math, college remediation rates have been high. One root cause has been an uneven patchwork of academic standards that vary from state to state and do not agree on what students should know and be able to do at each grade level." The staggering among students has been exemplified repeatedly not only on the international level, but within out states as well. Students who move from state to state are often faced with the challenge of making up course work just to be on the "same playing field" as the natives to the state. Previously, education has focused on rote memorization and reiteration and regurgitation of facts. Students, although well prepared and with much knowledge, were and are still unable to explain various concepts. Previously, education, the "old classroom," was very lecture based and very teacher oriented: straight rows, a teacher at a podium with writing on the board. With the introduction of Common Core, we can see an introduction of a student oriented classroom, most demonstrated by the various "I can..." statements that Common Core has influenced, Project Based Learning, and groups instead of the typical rows. In conclusion, the Common Core writes that the standards are:
1) Research- and evidence-based
2) Clear, understandable, and consistent
3) Aligned with college and career expectations
4) Based on rigorous content and application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
5) Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
6) Informed by other top performing countries in order to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society.
Common Core is an American asset that will produce students who are college and career ready.


I thank my opponent for allowing my acceptance of this debate. :) As he has provided no regulations, I will begin this round by posting my opening arguments. First, however, I will regulate the BoP for both sides.

Pro must prove: that, on balance, common core is more beneficial than the status quo, or “old-fashioned” teaching, without being a) highly displeasing to teachers, students, or parents and b) a more accelerated and beneficial system that the current style of teaching.

Con must prove: that, on balance, the status quo is more beneficial than common core, without being a) displeasing to the general populace as a majority and b) a more accelerated and beneficial system than common core currently is.

Without further adieu, let the argumentation begin. :)

Widely recognized scholar and professor Dr. William Mathis of the University of Colorado was once quoted in saying, “The adoption of a set of standards and assessments, by themselves, is unlikely to improve learning, increase test scores, or close the achievement gap.” Realizing this as a reality, we must go against this resolution. As America strives for better education and a more learned society, common core standards continually hinder success and slow down progress. It is for these reasons that I must negate the resolution regarding common core education. This opposition comes with three contentions, each thoroughly explained and backed up with evidence. First, however, we must understand what common core is, and its significance in the modern American world.

According to Core Standards, the Common Core website (as my opponent previously mentioned), common core is simply is ‘a set of “high-quality” academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.’

However, their simplistic definition is just that, simplistic. The definition does little to actually define what common core standards are, and how they work in a school setting. That is where we will draw information from scholars, in order to better understand this system and its effects. To do so, look towards professor Dr. Alan Manning, of Brigham Young University.

He states, “The Core standards just set in concrete approaches to reading/writing that we already know don’t work very well. Having the Core standards set in concrete means that any attempts to innovate and improve reading/writing instruction will certainly be crushed. Actual learning outcomes will stagnate at best. An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than less attention the reading/analysis of stories known to effective in terms of structure (i.e. “classic” time-tested stories).”

It is evident that core standards are concrete in nature, unchanged. As explained, that is a problem. If the core standards, whatever they may be, don’t change based on egalitarian factors or even different environments, education will not be enhanced, but rather worsened. This is the foremost problem with common core standards. Without boundaries that can be adjusted when necessary, common core will not be successful in the world of education. That said, let’s move on to the contentions.

C1: Common Core standards are inefficient in nature.

As evidenced earlier, the concrete nature of common core standards proves its overall inefficiency. Without the ability to properly modify the standards in necessary situations equates a fallible system of education. Besides this important aspect, there have been flaws regarding the common core tests themselves, beginning their official debut this spring.

Alexander Russo, journalist for Columbia Journalism Review, “Common Problems with Common Core Reporting,” March 15, 2015

“This spring’s Common Core testing rollout has been guilty of over-emphasizing the extent of the conflict, speculating dire consequences based on little information, and over-relying on anecdotes and activists’ claims rather than digging for a broader sampling of verified numbers.”

Furthermore, teachers have revealed problems they believe the system to have.

Linda Perlstein (Former Education Writers Association Public Editor) March 15, 2015

“Students have long sat through hours of tests that their teachers may or may not find useful in helping teach better, and reporters aren’t always critical and analytical enough in response.”

These teachers that are in school systems that use common core standards are not necessarily pleased with the results found from the teaching styles. If students aren’t learning, and teachers can’t change the rigid standards to compensate, the education system as a whole serves no plausible purpose.

C2: Common core problems exist due to the hurried nature of implementation.

When the policy was considered and ultimately implemented in 2009, the bandwagon was quickly loaded. Many states and school systems joined the program and began using common core standards in their education systems. This was, however, the big problem with this was that a) schools/states were joining for the wrong reason or that b) they joined too quickly before considering the effects of the policy.

Dr. Bill Evers, professor at Hoover Institute at Stanford University

“The Common Core is supposed to be a new, higher bar that will take the United States from the academic doldrums to international dominance. [In 2009] State school boards and governors were sprinting to adopt the Core. In practically the blink of an eye, 45 states had signed on. But states weren’t leaping because they couldn’t resist the Core’s academic magnetism. They were leaping because it was the Great Recession — and the Obama administration was dangling a $4.35 billion Race to the Top carrot in front of them. Big points in that federal program were awarded for adopting the Core, so, with little public debate, they did.”

Secondly, the time spent “testing out” common core, or giving the system a trial run has not been enough.

Brittany Corona (Research assistant in Domestic Policy Studies at The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, at the Heritage Foundation) The Daily Signal, “Concern Grows about Common Core,” March 12, 2015

“The haste with which Common Core was adopted and implemented has caused problems. [Education Week Magazine interviewed] Hung-Shi Wu, professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Common Core development team. Wu concluded: “The amount of time given to the high school standards was definitely inadequate. Teachers also are struggling with how to teach to the Common Core math standards.”

The hurried implementation has caused problems throughout the country, not only in specific locations.

In conclusion, top American professors have explicitly explained their opposition to the common core standards, describing them as “basic” (Mathis), “appalling” (Esolen), and as “no improvement” upon the current systems (Tienken). With this in mind, I would move to my opponent’s case.

My opponent has no real framework, but simply accentuates the difference between the status quo and common core, and attempts to prove common core standard superiority. The problem is, however, he provides no evidence to back his outrageous claims. The only source he cites is one from Core Standard that bashes “old-fashioned” teaching. Nevertheless, this source has no merit. It is from Common Core’s OWN website, obviously a biased and irreliable. On the other hand, I have brought forth multiple pieces of credible evidence. My opponent also stereotypes “old classrooms” to a certain standard, and tries to show inefficiency. However, the status quo has a much more diverse classroom than common core, with a teacher’s ability to fine-tune the curriculum to fit the needs of the students. To conclude, it is imperative to understand the harmful detriments of common core standards in comparison to a more beneficial and effective status quo.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to defer this round, and I hope my contender will agree to do the same, for the sake of time and the proper structure of this debate.
After reviewing a plethora of different arguments, I would like to structure the rest of the debate as:

Round 1: (Completed) Opening Statments and Acceptance
Rround 2: Defferred
Round 3: Contentions
Round 4: Rebuttles
Round 5: Closing Statements


My opponent has more or less conceded this round, failing to produce an argument in his specified length of time. However, I will graciously accept the terms he has set forth regarding the conclusion of this debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


futurusmagister forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


futurusmagister forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


futurusmagister forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited all rounds. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
I have interest in this debate.
Posted by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Too bad students still can't explain basic concepts. My son was asking me questions for a math problem not know whether to use tangent cosine or sine. He didn't know how they related to a circle or each other. The homework was common core and I think it was trying to have them see a pattern in the word problem and then use the appropriate function. But understanding what that function does or means and the relationship to a circle and triangle completely lost.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture