All Students Deserve a Path towards College and Career Readiness

Common Core State Standards, the “federalizing of public education,” is failing public-school students, and particularly minority children, claims Deirdre Reilly on the parent news website MomZette.

“Far from achieving its goal of leveling the playing field…[the Common Core] has put children of color in the state of Kentucky (and likely in many other states as well) even further behind,” Reilly argues.

Common Core State Standards set clear, consistent and rigorous learning goals that better ensure students from all demographics have a path towards college and career readiness. Coupled with high-quality assessments, the standards provide educators with accurate information to better meet student needs and to help all students over a high bar.

Notably, civil rights leaders remain committed to the implementation of rigorous, consistent learning goals and high-quality assessments that support them.

“If implemented effectively, [Common Core State Standards] will help bridge the achievement gap by leveling the playing field so that all students, regardless of race, geography or income, have an equal shot at gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy,” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, wrote in 2014.

“We cannot support a system that camouflages or obfuscates achievement gaps…In order to close the achievement gap, you’ve got to know where it is,” Morial said this year.

Additionally, over a four year period (2012 – 2015), Kentucky’s African American 5th graders have seen an 11% increase in scores. While White students experienced a slightly stronger increase at 12%, this kind of improvement should be lauded.

Similarly, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wrote last year, “Consistent standards and assessments for students throughout the country mean more students will receive an exceptional education and have an equal chance to succeed. That means our Latino youth will be more prepared for college and ready to reap the benefits of an advanced degree.”

States have spent years implementing college- and career-ready learning goals and high-quality assessments. While opponents would like to turn back on this work, policymakers should continue to build on the Common Core framework to ensure all students are held to academic expectations that prepare them to succeed after high school.