This Education Week post provides some reliable background on the Common Core standards. Here’s an excerpt:
Here is what the data tell us: Only 34 percent of 4th graders in reading and 35 percent of 8th graders in math scored proficient or advanced on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card, in 2011. Internationally, 15-year-olds from the United States ranked 14th in reading and 25th in math on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, assessment in 2009. Thechallenge is clear. Too few American students are being educated to the quality they will need to be successful in work and life.
Governors, parents, teachers, principals, and other state and business leaders from across the country have recognized the problem and responded. In 2007, governors and state education leaders began discussing the idea of working together to develop a set of rigorous academic standards to ensure that all students graduate from high school well prepared for life. As a result, in 2009, governors, state superintendents, state boards of education, teachers, parents, and business leaders took the historic step of planning for a shared set of rigorous and easy-to-understand state academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. The new standards, which were released in 2010, clearly define what students need to know, and how well they need to know these things at each grade level, to be able to graduate from high school ready for success in college or a career-training program.
In recent months, however, a number of myths have started circulating in the policy community and the media about these standards. As representatives of the two organizations that facilitated the development of the Common Core State Standards—theNational Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers—we believe it is important to address some of the questions that have been raised about the commoncore.