From the Back Cover
This book tells the story of the unfolding political drama around the making of the Common Core State Standards for math and English language arts, which were adopted by forty-three states and the District of Columbia—over a six-month period in 2010—after decades of similar proposals had gone down in flames.
As a senior fellow at the major organization promoting the Common Core standards, education writer Bob Rothman gives the reader a bird’s eye view of this unfolding drama and brings the major players to life with lively anecdotes and behind-the-scenes details. He describes the developments leading up to the historic agreement and compares them to earlier efforts. He also explains the content of the standards in depth, describes steps being taken to implement them, and examines how the assessment consortia plan to measure student performance against the new standards.
The book is a must-have reference work for researchers, practitioners, school leaders, policy makers, and others interested in contemporary education policy and reform.
“Robert Rothman has written a thorough, detailed policy and political history of the standards movement, beginning with its origins and following right up to its apogee in the Common Core standards and then through to the early stages of national assessment development. More than a history, though, this book provides thoughtful analysis, appropriate cautions, and some well-considered advice on how this new era of standards may shape the future of U.S. public education.” — Paul Reville, secretary of education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
“In Rothman’s clear-eyed telling, the decades-long history of national standards in American public education is a compelling narrative filled with characters, philosophical debates, and insightful observations. We learn about why previous chapters in the standards movement did not produce the hoped-for gains and the hard work that must be done if the national Common Core standards are to guide classroom instruction and deepen student learning. Ultimately, Rothman is cautiously optimistic that, this time, standards will make a difference.” — Richard Lee Colvin, executive director, Education Sector
“Something in Common is a comprehensive and timely story of the background and development of Common Core standards in America. I highly recommend this as a must-read for educators and others who want to develop a very good understanding of the new ‘common core,’ what is necessary for successful implementation, and the potential impact on the future of public education in America.” — Jesse B. Register, superintendent, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Robert Rothman, a longtime education writer, has written extensively on standards and assessments. Formerly the editor of the quarterly Voices in Urban Education, Rothman is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Education Letter and is currently a senior fellow at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington-based organization that has been involved in the Common Core standards effort.