Common Core Communication Network: Key Messages

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Pearson Responds to Criticism About Its Standardized Tests

Description: After Pearson came under fire on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" show, Valerie Strauss featured a response in her Answer Sheet column in the Washington Post, by Alfred G. Binford, managing director of assessment and direct delivery at Pearson. The headline that Pearson put on the post was: “New State Tests Are One Piece of An Improving Education System.”

A Struggle Worth Having for Students

Description: In a Washington Post op/ed, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz makes his case for supporting the Common Core. Colorado unveiled Common Core five years ago, and while the process has been difficult, Kyle explains that the challenges helped educators do their jobs with more intention and understanding.

How Kentucky Became a Rare Common Core Success Story

Description: The Common Core State Standards have lost support, but Kentucky shows that it can work if implemented as intended. Here are three ways Kentucky become the Common Core "poster child" and what others can learn from the state's success.

National PTA Common Core Video Series

Description: This video series, developed through a partnership with the Hunt Institute, was designed to educate parents on the Common Core State Standards and empower them to support the transition at school and at home.

A Lesson on the Common Core

Description: In a slideshow accompanied by a blog post, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation addresses some key facts and messages to clear up misconceptions about the purpose and "reach" of the Common Core. The blog post is from Ann M. Fudge, a member of the Advisory Board for the United States Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Messages from Achieve, Inc.

Description: A succinct explanation of the Common Core State Standards - what they are and why they are necessary, produced by Achieve, Inc., a key component to the development of the Standards.

What Parents Should Know

Description: This backgrounder provides parents with information about the inception, adoption, and importance of the Common Core. It shares resources for parents regarding standards for English language and math, as well as a guide for parents from the National PTA.

Common Core Mythbusters

Description: To best use the following “Myth Busters,” first find out what myths may be circulating in your community. We advise you to present the Common Core information in small bites, and then repeat the same information multiple times through different mediums.Target your early messages to your stakeholders who “get it”…and who most need factual information to use with their peer groups.

Fact-checking Attacks on Common Core School Standards

Description: This is an article focused on dispelling rumors in Florida about the Common Core. Learn the truth about data collection, curriculum changes, and level of teacher involvement in the standards’ development. There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors out there about the Common Core, and it’s important to know the truth about them.

Common Core Is Brainchild of State Educators, Not a Federal Power Grab for Kids’ Minds

Description: Kansas is strategically developing a communication plan to educate its communities about the Common Core to clear up rumors that are not true. Diane DeBacker, the Education Commissioner in KS, is sending a letter to politicians responsible for spreading misinformation. Learn more about the information campaign in the article.

Common Core 101

Description: Common Core 101, a backgrounder prepared by the Alliance for Excellent Education, addresses six questions many critics and skeptics of the Common Core are asking.

Support for Common Core Strong in U.S. Military

Description: Although the Common Core has met with some pretty serious opposition, the U.S. military supports it for several key reasons. First, military families are very transient, so nearly-nationwide education standards would finally allow students to pick up where they left off from school to school. Also, with schools all teaching the same thing, it could help improve living conditions for military personnel. Finally, better-educated soldiers could help improve national security.

Common Core: A Puzzle to Public

Description: According to research cited in this EdWeek article, (note: to access the full article, you’ll need an EdWeek subscription) most Americans barely even know the Common Core exists. Even the majority of K-12 public school parents are unaware of the new movement. This article contains some key information about how informed, uninformed, or misinformed your school community may be about the Common Core. Use it to help frame your messaging.

Common Core Foes Spreading Misinformation, Duncan Says

Education Secretary Arnie Duncan responded to criticism about the Common Core, saying that issues are “imaginary” and an attempt to misinform the American public. He urged journalists to learn and report the truth about the promise of the Common Core. He said, “The New York Times has called the Common Core “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” to bring our public schools up to levels of our high-performing international competitors.” Read the full content of his speech delivered Tues., June 25 to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Dispelling Common Core Myths

Description: Myths are running rampant about the Common Core, despite people's best efforts to share the truth. In this article and SlideShare presentation, learn the facts behind the Common Core.

Common Core a Steep Climb

One of the nation’s most prominent education publications, Education Week, created a four-part series on the Common Core. Common Core: A Steep Climb highlights Washington D.C.’s commitment to the Common Core, a veteran teacher struggling to prepare her students for the new standards, preparing for year-end tests, and finally a free Common Core chat that was hosted on June 17.

Key Findings from Teacher Survey on Common Core

Description: The Winston Group conducted a survey of 900 K-12 public school teachers across eleven states for the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Chiefs for Change to support the development of a communications strategy around the Common Core State Standards. The survey was conducted February 21-March 2, 2013 via telephone (cell phone and landline) as well as through an online panel in order to ensure adequate representation of teachers across demographic groups.

The eleven states surveyed include: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

Facts as Talking Points

Description: NSPRA has developed a comprehensive list of facts that you can use in your Common Core communication efforts. This information comes "straight from the horse's mouth," from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as well as others.

Common Core State Standards Background

Description: This backgrounder, developed by the National Governors Association, shares some valuable information about the Common Core State Standards, key messages about them, and some frequently asked questions. Page two is where you'll find the key messages.

Missouri Learning Standards & Common Core State Standards Communications Toolkit

Description: This toolkit contains information about Missouri’s learning standards, which include the Common Core. This resource allows education supports in MO to share information regarding the education reform taking place in their state, explain why it’s necessary, and how it will benefit the state’s students. The kit contains a letter to the community, a list of CCSS supporters, an overview of MO’s Common Core Standards, some key messages, facts and figures regarding college and career readiness, some myth-busters, and a Q&A about the Common Core.

Arizona's Common Core Standards Communication Toolkit

Description: The Arizona Public Engagement Task Force has created a toolkit of resources that are designed to help raise public awareness and garner support for Arizona’s Common Core Standards within your community. Whether you are a community leader, business, non-profit, or educator working to inform your community about Arizona education, we hope this Toolkit will be useful to you.

Sample Messaging

Description: Discover facts to use when communicating with various audiences about the Common Core. Whether you need to speak to a general audience, families, legislators, or school leaders, this message sheet has you covered. It also has scripts for e-communication. The content was adapted with permission from the Missouri Common Core State Standards Tool Kit.

Sample Letters

Description: If you are unsure how to share information about the Common Core with your school's parents, consider using language from this sample letter. Or, if you want to write to your state legislator urging them to support the Common Core, you can educate them on its benefits with the sample letter for legislators. There are also several quotes that you can attribute and include for teachers, to help add a voice to the letter.

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