Common Core State Standards Sara Ann (Sally) Beach, Ph.D. Stacy Reeder, Ph.D. Jean Cate, Ph.D.
Builds on Prior Work of National Content Groups • Multiple rounds of feedback from postsecondary faculty of K-12 schools, state curriculum and assessment experts, researchers, higher education, and national organizations, and the general public were included in the development of the final standards and a stringent validation process. • American Council on Education • American Federation of Teachers • American Mathematical Society • Campaign for High School Equity • Council of the Great City Schools • International Reading Association • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics • National Education Association
Clarity and Specificity Decreased B+ A- B+ B+ Carmichael et al., 2010
Clarity and Specificity (continued) • [The Common Core State Standards]are a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. Local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms (Core Standards, 2011).
Allows up to 15% to be Augmented • When 48 states and three territories signed on to the CCSS Initiative, it was their goal to create a shared set of expectations and states are allowed to augment the standards with an additional 15% of content that the state feels is imperative (Achieve, 2010).
Provides Data-Driven Decisions • Effective schools demonstrating unusual gains in academic measures have shown that the thoughtful use of student data positively correlates with a range of measures of student achievement (e.g., Edmonds, 1979; Stringfield, 1994; Teddlie & Reynolds, 2000; Weber, 1971; Wayman, 2005). • Case studies by Feldman & Tung, 2001; Lachat, 2002; Pardini, 2000; Protheroe, 2001; Symonds, 2003 suggest positive use of data in supporting educational decisions (Wayman, 2005). • School leaders involved in data use often consider themselves in charge of their own destiny, increasingly able to find and use information to inform their school’s improvement (Earl & Katz, 2002).
Provides Data-Driven Decisions (continued) • Teachers using data in schools that achieved a decrease in ethnic achievement gaps discussed data more with colleagues, visited colleagues’ classrooms more, and had more general instances of collaboration (Symonds, 2003). • Teachers can base teaching decisions on solid data rather than assumptions (Waters, Burger, & Burger, 1995). • In a five year study in Weld County School District in Colorado, overall achievement increased, and the gap between rich and poor closed considerably—even in such higher-order competencies as writing (Schmoker, 2005).
More Rigorous B+ A- B+ B+ Carmichael et al., 2010
ACT Longitudinal Data and Academic Research • The Common Core State Standards Initiative provides the most significant state-led effort to establish K-12 standards based on empirical evidence and research. Not only did the initiative draw on ACT’s longitudinal research identifying knowledge and skills that are essential for success in postsecondary education and workforce training, but it also brought together academic research about learning progressions from high performing states (ACT, 2010).
Builds on What Employers Want • All 10 skills that a majority of employer respondents rate as “very important” to workforce success for high school graduates are on the Deficiency List of the Report Card (Casner-Lotto, Barrington, & Wright, 2006).
Less is More • The math standards are clear, rigorous standards that establish most of the essential content that students in grades K-12 should master, while the ELAR standards are also strong, though in need of a few more adjustments (Finn, et al., 2010). • Teachers and policy makers have complained that many of the state standards are “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Common Core is reported to address this issue, with fewer standards that go more in-depth. CCSS is explicit on what students are to learn, bringing more focus as well (Porter, et al., 2011).