April 27, 2016


A Hidden Benefit to Common Core : High education standards prevent unprepared college students and help the economy. (Douglas Holtz-Eakin, April 27, 2016, US News)

The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act required states to use standardized assessments to evaluate academic achievement. These standards could be of their own design. As a result, the rigor of the standards was as varied as the individual states, and there was essentially no ability to make cross-state comparisons.

Parents and others noticed that the results from state assessments often overstated proficiency levels when compared with national measurements. The inability to determine whether putative standards were actually binding efforts to raise achievement gave rise to the Common Core State Standards initiative; standards that have been shown to be more rigorous and effective.

A state-led effort, the Common Core standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country. They genuinely demanded that schools meet sensible metrics and provided parents and policymakers a way to check the quality of their schools against those in other states. To date, 46 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted Common Core. However, since then, there has been serious backsliding. Legislatures in 32 states have introduced bills to repeal the standards, and three states (Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina) have actually voted to repeal.

The danger is that opposition to Common Core, in conjunction with a rising opposition to standardized tests in general, will transform into a general opposition to holding educators to high standards. Lowering or eliminating standards will harm economic growth. It will reduce the attainment of educational degrees. But most harmful, it will exacerbate the trend toward under-prepared college students, lengthened time to completion and inflated tuition costs for families.

But the tests should show their kids are unprepared, not ours!

Posted by at April 27, 2016 6:46 PM