Cost of Common Core Standards will be $800 million in California, $300 million in Washington state

November 10, 2011

The cost to California for implementing the new Common Core Standards will be close to $800 million reports Tom Choreau, Cabinet Report

Here in Washington state, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction reported in January 2011 that the cost of informing teachers, principals and districts about the Common Core Standards will be $182.6 million, $165.5 million which local school districts will have to pay.  This report reveals that buying new textbooks for Washington’s students will cost an additional $122 million.  These costs do not include the cost of updating the state’s testing system, so the total cost to implement the Common Core in Washington will  exceed the sum of $300 million.

OSPI is currently rolling out public forums for teachers and administrators to “develop awareness of what the standards are and how they differ from existing standards.”

Washington state budget writers are looking for savings in education spending, in order to bring spending desires in line with available revenue.  Abandoning implementation of the Common Core Standards would free up resources for other pressing education needs.

But just as importantly, it would allow Washington state to retain control over its schools so it can instead implement reforms that have been shown to work.  Abandoning the Common Core Standards would allow Washington to avoid the standardization and mediocrity which will certainly result if the federal government imposes a standard curriculum and test on Washington's schools.   

Many prominent education policymakers, including former governors, state and federal leading education policymakers, professors, researchers, and teachers have signed this online statement: Closing the Door on Innovation. This statement warns that the Common Core Standards is part of a federal government effort to create a federal test and a federal curriculum that will be imposed on states.  Here are this statement's five main points:

First, there is no constitutional or statutory basis for national standards, national assessments, or national curricula.

Second, there is no consistent evidence that a national curriculum leads to high academic achievement.

Third, the national standards on which the administration is planning to base a national curriculum are inadequate.

Fourth, there is no body of evidence for a “best” design for curriculum sequences in any subject.

Fifth, there is no evidence to justify a single high school curriculum for all students.

Washington's budget writers have a chance to defund the standardization and mediocrity the Common Core Standards will certainly deliver, and to instead demand excellence and achievement, which come from putting principals and teachers (not distant officials)  in charge of what happens in the classroom, and then holding them accountable for results.