Meg Norris

Writer, Educator, Advocate, Activist

I am a writer, passionate educator, parent and student advocate and activist for public education. I am a doctoral candidate in special education and brain-based teaching, learning and leadership. 


I am often asked about research to support my stand against Common Core and high stakes testing. Below I have listed and linked documents and videos I have found in my efforts to find the truth behind the damage being done to US students by the corporate interests behind education reform. 


Developmental Inappropriateness of the Standards and Toxic Stress

1. Joint Statement on Core Standards - Alliance for Childhood

Over 500 early childhood education and child development experts explain the damage CCSS would cause to children, especially K-3. This was submitted to CCSS developers in 2010 and ignored!

2. When Will We Ever Learn - Psychology Today

An interview with one of the second their writers brought in to give suggestions after CCSS was written. Her suggestions were ignored and she in now speaking out against Common Core.

3. 6 Reasons to Reject the Common Core State Standards for K-Grade 3 - The DEY Project

A terrific article pointing out the lack of research supporting the Common Core Standards, the "one-size-fits-all" design of the standards as well as the missing classroom educators in the writing of the standards.

4. Why Young Kids are Struggling with Common Core Math - The Washington Post

This blog post by the award winning principal and assistant principal at New York's South Side High School echoes what has been said by educators across the board about child development and the CCSS.

5. Expect 'Common Core Syndrome' Symptoms to be Triggered by State Exams -

A story that introduces the ailments brought on by chronic stress in the classroom. This is a serious problem given the research surrounding brain damage cause by hormones related to high stress.

6. New Research Sheds Light on How Children's Brains Memorize Facts - Stanford Medicine

New brain-imaging research reveals how the brain reorganizes itself as children learn basic math facts. This is important because basic math facts are omitted from the new Common Core math methods.

7. How Anxiety Leads to Disruptive Behavior - Child Mind Institute

It's not uncommon for children with serious undiagnosed anxiety to be disruptive at school, where demands and expectations put pressure on them that they can't handle.  And it can be very confusing to teachers and other staff members to "read" that behavior, which can seem to come out of nowhere.

Expert Reports

1. Common Core's English Language Arts Standards: Problems and Issues - Dr. Sandra Stotsky

Sandra Stotsky, content expert who refused to sign off on the CCSS ELA standards after sitting for months on the validation committee, explains why in this report.

2. Opportunity by Design - Carnegie Corporation of New York

A report issued by the Carnegie Foundation in 2013 estimates the four-year graduation rate will drop from 75% to 53% under Common Core.

3. National Charter School Study 2013 - Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO)

A 2013 report from Stanford showing the move to charter schools shows zero effect on student achievement improvement.

4. State-Specific Common Core Implementation Costs - Henry W. Burke 

Henry W. Burke wrote this blog about the cost of Common Core. He also includes breakdowns for individual states.

5. Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core is Bad for America - Pioneer Institute Public Policy Research

Claims that any state evaluating the Standards should consider the following problems: (1) quality and content of the Standards; (2) legality of the federal promotion of the Standards and assessments, and the usurpation of state autonomy; (3) governance of the Standards; (4) fiscal cost to the states; and (5) student and family privacy rights.

6. The 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well are American Students Learning? - Brookings Institute

"Have the states with CCSS-like standards made greater gains on the eighth grade NAEP since 2009? It turns out they have not. If Common Core is eventually going to fulfill the soaring expectations of its supporters, much greater progress must become evident."

7. At the Educational Crossroads: A Report on Educational Reform Efforts in NYS - Members of the Assembly Minority Conference

Members of the Assembly Minority Conference, after hearing the passionate testimony of parents, students, teachers and administrators from across the state, find that we must put the brakes on the modules and testing, and overhaul Common Core using teacher and expert input, or remove the standards altogether. Includes a rare look at Special Education and Common Core.

8. Relating Policy to Research and Practice: The Common Core Standards - National Council of Teachers of English

Ironically, the word “evidence” is used 136 times in the Common Core Standards, and in 133 of those instances, it is something that students are expected to provide. For the writers of the standards, not so much.

9. NCLB's Lost Decade for Educational Progress: What We Can Learn from this Policy Failure - National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Despite a decade’s worth of solid evidence documenting the failure of NCLB and similar high-stakes testing schemes, and despite mounting evidence from the U.S. and other nations about how to improve schools, policymakers cling to discredited models. This is particularly tragic for families who hoped their children’s long wait for equal educational opportunity might be ending. It is also tragic for our public education system, whose reputation has been sullied by promises not kept and ex- pensive intervention schemes that do more harm than good.

Standards Based Education

1. Standards-Based Accountability in the United States: Lessons Learned and Future Directions - Education Inquiry

RAND Study addressing the issues of standards in education. 
"It is worth pointing out that the process of creating performance standards, setting cut scores, and attaching labels indicating the student’s level of performance is fraught with technical difficulties and political controversies (Cronin et al., 2007; Linn, 2003). Most notably, the lack of a common meaning of “proficient” across states has hindered efforts to compare the performance of students in different states, and the frequent confusion of the term “proficient” with the phrase “at grade level” (Rothstein, Jacobsen, & Wilder, 2006) encourages inappropriate inferences about students’ accomplishments."

A Nation At Risk vs. Sandia Report

1. Education At Risk: Fallout from a Flawed Report - Edutopia 
"The government never released the Sandia report. It went into peer review and there died a quiet death. Hardly anyone else knew it even existed until, in 1993, the Journal of Educational Research, read by only a small group of specialists, printed the report."

2. The Sandia Report on Education: A Perfect Lesson in Censorship - Project Censored 1994 

"One of the most thorough investigations into public education did not produce the expected results and instead, ended up being censored."


Listed by length

1 minute: Math Standards author/architect Jason Zimba admits on film that Common Core focuses on standards for non-selective community colleges and does not address STEM studies.

3 minutes: Strategic Data Project, Harvard Center for Education Policy Research:  Beyond the Numbers, From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Analytics for Strategy & Performance. David Coleman highlights the lack of state involvement and the narrow focus of the math standards. (full speech can be watched here (1 hour): )

4 minutes: Arkansas mom Karen Lamoreaux destroys CCSS math in 4 minutes!

6 minutes: Dr. Peg Luksik, why computer adaptive tests are bad

9 minutes: Sandra Smith, founder of Democrats Against Common Core at the capitol in Sacramento CA, speaking as a mom.

10 minutes: Activist and educator Morna McDermott from United Opt Out (literally) walks you through the labyrinth of incestuous corporate connections and Common Core.

23 minutes: Parents, teachers, students, an Education leader and child psychologist all discuss their feelings about Common Core. Filmed in Ga.

25 minutes: Dr. Megan Koschnick, clinical child psychologist, presenting about the developmental inappropriateness of the standards for K-3.

25 minutes: Teacher Donita Brown explaining child development, including Piaget's stages, and how they misalign with Common Core:

 <10 min clips x 5 segments: INTRO to Common Core An excellent video series to share with those still learning about Common Core.

 40 minutes: Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) objective look at CCSS.

 44 minutes: A Breakfast Discussion with the Common Core Standards Writers at the 2010 ADP Leadership Team Meeting. Hosted by Achieve, Inc. David Coleman shares his vision of a workforce where self-expression is frowned upon.

 1 hour: Dr. Peg Luksik, an educator preK - college, a former employee at the Dept of Education, with an impressive background. Dr. Luksik explains the mess behind the adoption processes and the fake testing. One of the best videos a

1 hour, 10 minutes: What Must be Done in the Next Two Years at the 2011 IFL Senior Leadership Meeting. The introduction of David Coleman: “Okay, so this is the kind of person we are gonna be privileged to hear tonight. He has been involved in virtually every step of setting the national standards, and he doesn’t have a single credential for it. He’s never taught in an elementary school – I think. You know, I actually don’t know. He’s never edited a scholarly journal, but I think he has written scholarly papers. And a variety of other things that have – you know, everybody here has done some of, he hasn’t done.” [Laughter]

 2 hours: Dr. Duke Pesta, who taught high school and university for 22 years. Probably one of the best overall explanations of Common Core and why it will never work.