A study released this week shows that Common Core State Standards in English and mathematics for K-12 education, adopted by Florida last year, align with five comparison standards considered “good indicators of college and career readiness.”
The Educational Policy Improvement Center, the research center that released the study, selected (.pdf) comparison standards from California, Massachusetts, and Texas, as well as the Knowledge and Skills for University Success and the International Baccalaureate program.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers for K-12 education.
The Standards Initiative helps “teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge” in “postsecondary education and the workforce,” and is not “the first step toward nationalizing education.”
As of October, 44 states have adopted the common core standards. The Florida Department of Education approved the adoption of the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics in July 2010.
The Florida Education Association — the union that represents teachers and school support professionals — writes that “the standards, developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and education experts, establish clear and consistent goals for learning that will prepare our children for college and the workforce.”
According to Education Week, the study
comes on the coattails of an increasing push at the federal level to ensure students are leaving high school ready for college. The Obama administration’s recent waiver plan for the No Child Left Behind Act frees states from some of the law’s accountability requirements if they adopt standards for college and career readiness. A bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, whose current version is the NCLB law, also makes that a priority.
David T. Conley, the lead researcher on the report, told the publication: “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.”
Conley added: “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.”