Common Core: Voices

“The Common Core State Standards are our next best step in education.  We are using all that we know, including what has worked and not worked for the last 12 years.  The combination of CCSS and 21st Century Skills is opening new possibilities in the classroom and preparing our students not only for the present, but for the future.  The future is here.”

Kathy Harris

Harris is a 28-year teacher and Common Core implementation coach in the Piner-Olivet Union School District, a former regional director of the California Reading and Literature Project at Sonoma State University and member of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She helped review Common Core English language arts standards during their development and helped California modify the standards to fit the state’s needs.

Remarks in interview by Learning First Alliance, a Virginia-based non-profit educational partnership


“They put teachers back in control of crafting and tailoring the education of their students. Critical thinking skills can now be part of our students’ educational foundation, and we can decide how to best teach that.”

California Teachers Association


“The world is changing. For our students to be ready for careers and college, our schools must change, too. Policy makers can debate the pace of change, but outside our schools, in the world of work, there’s no signs things are slowing down.”

Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Remarks, CTA video, 2013


“We’ve reached a real turning point for California schools, I believe. We’re on a path to preparing all our students to be career and college ready, to closing the achievement gap, to narrowing the digital divide. We’re on a path to a smarter, stronger California. Much more to do, but working together we’ll get there.”

Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Implementing the Common Core: Reports from the Field, July 1, 2014


“These standards have the capacity to change education in the best of ways – setting loose the creativity and innovation of educators at the local level, raising the bar for students, strengthening our economy and building a clearer path to the middle class…. I believe the Common Core State Standards may prove to be the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown versus Board of Education.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Education Secretary

Remarks at the American Society of News Editors Annual Convention, Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C., 2013


“The Common Core is better aligned to college and career-ready standards than the prior efforts. Students who do well in the Common Core should be able to succeed in college. And we’re seeing it as for all students, and not just the group that’s going on to four-year colleges but for all sorts of post-secondary education, community colleges, specialized training programs and things of that sort.”

Michael Kirst, State Board of Education president, Stanford University professor emeritus


Remarks during an October 2012 interview for the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

“For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading.”

President Barack Obama

Remarks during 2012 speech to Democratic National Convention