ERIC Number: ED511400
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Review of the Draft K-12 Common Core Standards
Carmichael, Sheila Byrd; Wilson, W. Stephen; Martino, Gabrielle; Finn, Chester E., Jr.; Porter-Magee, Kathleen; Winkler, Amber M.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
American education approached a possible turning point when the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released drafts of proposed new academic standards in English language arts and math for kindergarten through high school. Already the object of much interest--and some controversy--these are standards that, once revised and finalized, will be candidates for adoption by individual states in place of those they're now using. This report offers an appraisal of the draft Common Core standards. Its purpose is neither to praise nor to bury them. It's to give constructive feedback during a comment period that is intended to yield later improvements. On the math side, the reviewers found clear, rigorous standards that set forth most of the essential content that students in grades K-12 must master. While some tweaks are needed--particularly at the high-school level--this draft "embodies internationally-competitive expectations for students in mathematics" and earns an impressive A-. On the English language arts (ELA) side, the standards are also strong, though in need of a few more adjustments. While NGA and CCSSO have made clear from the outset that these expectations would concentrate on the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that students should master to be ready to succeed in college and the workforce, the standards-drafters have also woven in clear recommendations about the level of reading that young people should be doing, the sorts of fiction and non-fiction books they ought to read, and some of the essential content they'll need to master to attain these skills. As written, the standards earn a solid B. With some clarification of vague spots and the addition of more specific references to essential content, these standards will be top-notch expectations that help push the rigor of reading (and writing, etc.) instruction across the country. At this preliminary stage, the reviewers sense that most states would benefit from adopting the Common Core and hope all will appraise the present draft with that possibility in mind. The Grading Scale and Content Criteria is appended. (Contains 6 footnotes.
Descriptors: State Schools, Elementary Secondary Education, Language Arts, Listening Skills, English, Standard Setting, Academic Standards, Professional Associations, State Standards, Social Studies, History, Evaluation Criteria, Content Analysis, Educational Policy, Policy Analysis, Audits (Verification), Educational Change, Change Strategies
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute