The Current State of State Standards

Back in 2010, we joined many educators and advocates in supporting the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. We believe that these standards, which are clearer and more rigorous than nearly all other state standards, can help to set up students for success in life.

Unfortunately, over the past eight years many states have moved away from the Common Core, as well as associated test consortia. How do these new state standards measure up to the Common Core’s high bar?

In a new report, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute seeks to answer this question. The report focuses on states that have made substantive changes to the original Common Core, and some that never adopted them in the first place. Two teams of highly respected subject matter experts–one for ELA and one for math–rated new standards (as well as the Common Core) on a 1-10 scale, identified shortcomings and highlighted some changes and ideas that merit broader adoption.

What did they find? In short, the news isn’t good. Most states that revised the Common Core State Standards ended up with standards that were demonstrably worse–and in many cases should be scrapped entirely. Though there were some bright spots–Texas’ math standards, for instance–this report demonstrates the risk of trying to improve on the Common Core.

In the coming years, all states will have an opportunity to revise their standards. State leaders would be well-served to consider this report’s recommendations in order to implement the high-quality standards educators and students deserve.

You can read the full report here.

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