A recent article published by the Heartland Institute, claims that Common Core has led to a decrease in college readiness and that Common Core is “dumbing-down these colleges.” The article touts a college entrance exam that boasts being “non-Common Core.”
This is a misleading claim that actually misses the point of Common Core. Common Core was derived from the states to ensure that students from all over would be prepared to go onto college or a career regardless of where they went to school.
Common Core State Standards do not diminish the quality of a student’s education. In fact, the Common Core State Standards were designed to ensure fewer students required remedial education, by “back-mapping” from college-entrance requirements. In other words the authors of the Common Core looked first and what freshman in college needed to be prepared to do, and then ensured K-12 standards got them to that point.
Objective analysis has concluded that CCSS are stronger than most states’ previous standards and provide a foundation for students to develop the skills necessary to step into college or a career. According to a Fordham Institute analysis, the Standards are stronger than 39 states’ old math standards, and 37 states’ old English standards. Research by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt found that the Standards are 90% aligned with those of top performing countries.
Additionally, higher education leaders support the standards and say they are preparing students for the content they need to know when they reach college.
While Common Core standards are more rigorous than many previous state standards, the article seeks to tie Common Core implementation to college remedial courses without any evidence. And the article offers no evidence that this new college entrance exam, which is still in the testing phase, is in any way better than the SAT or ACT.
The New York Times explains how even students from affluent, well-off schools suffer similar college remedial necessities. The evidence is further condemning by the fact that these schools are often the ones that fight harder to opt-out of Common Core requirements.