Changing course on Common Core State Standards would be a disservice to the Hispanic community

A report by Child Trends Hispanic Institute indicates progress among Hispanic students has slowed overall in terms of keeping up with other student segments. “Not much has changed since the Common Core Standards have been implemented,” an Education Week article claims. “The annual tests that determine if students have mastered the standards are actually being failed more often than being passed by Hispanic students.”

The implication within the article—that policymakers should turn back on the Common Core just as the standards begin to take root—would do an immense disservice to the Hispanic community. Most states only recently began to fully align instruction with Common Core State Standards. It will take time for these efforts to begin to improve student outcomes.

“The Common Core—a K-12 initiative seeking to establish consistent educational standards for math and English—raises expectations for all children, including those who are struggling,” former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson wrote last year. “That means our Latino youths will be more prepared for college and ready to reap the benefits of an advanced degree—which directly translates to higher rates of employment and higher incomes.”

Contrary to the erroneous claim “not much has changed” since Common Core State Standards were implemented, most states raised proficiency goals for students. An analysis by Achieve this year found 26 states significantly closed their “honesty gaps,” providing families with more accurate information about how well prepared their kids are.

Likewise, a Harvard study concludes that since implementing Common Core State Standards “a majority of states have made a dramatic move forward…In short, the Common Core consortium has achieved one of its key policy objectives: the raising of state proficiency standards throughout much of the United States.”

Recently, Mike Petrilli and Robert Pondiscio of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute wrote that state leaders shouldn’t change course midstream. “By adhering to loftier standards and adopting next-generation assessments, [policymakers] will set its students on a path to learn more and achieve at higher levels than they otherwise would have…Policymakers should resist today’s political siren songs that would trade children’s long-term interests for potential short-term political gain.”