Christie drops Common Core, but sticks with PARCC tests

By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

Gov. Chris Christie’s declaration that Common Core is “simply not working” made national headlines on Thursday and realigned his stance with the Republican Party’s conservative base.

But despite Christie’s rhetoric, it’s possible that Common Core standards — called by that name or not — will remain in place, state education experts and leaders said.

“You keep the car. You just change the color of the paint,” said Christopher Tienken, an associate professor of education at Seton Hall University.

The theory is based on the details of what Christie announced Thursday, including his continued support on Thursday of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, which are aligned to Common Core standards, educators said.

One way that Common Core could stay is with minor tweaks and a new name, said Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.

The standards outline what skills students should master in each particular grade level, and Christie didn’t specifically say that Common Core was deficient in that regard. He instead focused on the fact that it caused confusion and that parents and teachers wanted standards developed in New Jersey.