The Common Core State Standards, released in 2010, were rapidly adopted by more than 40 states. Champions maintained that these rigorous standards would transform American education, but the initiative went on to encounter a bumpy path. A decade on, what are we to make of this ambitious effort? What kind of impact, if any, has it had on the quality of instruction and student learning—or is it too early to say?

In this forum, three experts present their views on these questions: Morgan Polikoff, associate professor at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California; Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and an executive editor at Education Next; and Tom Loveless, past director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and former policy professor at Harvard.


Common Standards Aren’t Enough

By Morgan S. Polikoff





Stay the Course on National Standards

By Michael J. Petrilli





Common Core Has Not Worked

By Tom Loveless



This article appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Education Next. Suggested citation format:

Polikoff, M.S., Petrilli, M.J., and Loveless, T. (2020). A Decade On, Has Common Core Failed? Assessing the impact of national standards. Education Next, 20(2), 72-81.

Last updated January 14, 2020