Tom Birmingham was president of the State Senate in 1993 when the state passed its landmark education reforms. From those reforms came a historic new investment in public education and new standards and assessments. Today, Massachusetts leads the nation on NAEP at both grades four and eight in reading and math.

However, the state abandoned its successful standards and assessments to qualify for Race to the Top funding. In doing so, it adopted Common Core.

Birmingham worries about whether the state gave up its successful program for a one-size-fits-all approach in which the children of Massachusetts will meet the same standards as children in Mississippi and Alabama.

He writes, ” In implementing the Common Core, there will be natural pressure to set the national standards at levels that are realistically achievable by students in all states. This marks a retreat from Massachusetts’ current high standards. This may be the rare instance where what is good for the nation as a whole is bad for Massachusetts.”