Common Core State Standards lift expectations and create opportunity to compare results and share tools—a terrific set of benefits that America will reap for years.

Fordham released a report today on the Cost of Implementing the Common Core.  They concluded that states could save about $1 billion if they take full advantage of digital assessments and materials.

In her coverage, Catherine Gewertz of EdWeek, feels obligated to give airtime to the boneheaded Pioneer report that claims the Common Core will cost billions.  They suggest that the cost of shifting from print to digital should be allocated to the cost of adopting the Common Core—an illogical position.  The two happen to be roughly coincident, but the shift to digital can and will produce its own ROI—the benefits of the Common Core just makes it all the more attractive to make the shift over the next 36 months.

Like iPhone, the Common Core is a platform for innovation.  Like iPhone apps, new content and tools will be built and shared on this powerful platform.  The Common Core will result in better content and tools, will save districts and states millions, and most importantly create clear college and career ready expectations for American students.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


  1. Thank you for this, Tom. For those of us continuing to fight to keep the CCSS and then to go further, your argument is powerful and useful in the on-going debate. We get the same claims regarding competency education and personalization. You logic holds true for these advances as well… Paul

    • The biggest benefit is consistently high college/career ready expectations for all kids. The second benefit will be the rapid improvement in sharable content and tools–and more of it will be free and open


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