Researchers at the Educational Policy Improvement Center, or EPIC, recently released The Common Core State Standards Studies which found that common-core standards in English/language arts and mathematics are generally aligned to the leading state standards, international standards, and university standards at the high-school-exit level, but are more rigorous in some content areas. EPIC, an Oregon-based research organization, compared the content and curriculum standards for California and Massachusetts; the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards, a collection of competencies and skills for secondary students that complements the state’s high school standards; the International Baccalaureate standards; and the Knowledge and Skills for University Success, a set of expectations endorsed by 28 research universities and used by the College Board as a reference in its own standards. The authors of the study wanted to see how closely the content covered, the range of material included, and the depth of that material correlated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
While the study found alignment in the topics covered and the range of content between the common-core standards and the five others, the report says the common core demanded a bit more cognitive complexity in some topics, particularly English/language arts. The comparison standards lacked the depth of challenge in reading for informational texts, writing, and reading and writing for literacy, and, on the math side, in geometry.
David Conley, the lead researcher on the project and EPIC’s founder and chief executive officer, was also involved in developing the IB standards, Texas’ standards, and the Knowledge and Skills for University Success standards. Mr. Conley said his center selected the IB, Texas, and KSUS standards because its researchers felt confident those were of high quality and focused on college preparation.
Still, he said, the report is not meant to measure the quality of one group of standards over another, but rather to test the conclusion that the common-core standards place a strong emphasis on preparing students for postsecondary education by comparing the standards with others that also focus on college readiness.
“There’s a big danger if you look at these standards as everything you need to know to be ready because it’s not. If you think they’re the perfect measure, they’re not,” Mr. Conley said. “The common-core standards are a step in the right direction, but we still need more information on what makes a student college- and career-ready and still have a way to go toward creating stronger standards and assessments than [evaluating a student] by a cut score on a test.”
Read more about this study at https://www.epiconline.org/CommonCoreStateStandardsStudies.
International Reading Association (IRA) Common Core Resources
PARCC Releases Model Content Frameworks NGA Releases Common Core Implementation Guide