Correcting the Record: Common Core Still Going Strong in States  

Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, picking up on a study by Brooking Institution’s Tom Loveless, claims “the Common Core may already have passed its peak and begun the slow decline into oblivion.” Despite support among educators and parents, and consensus that it is too early to determine the Common Core’s impact, Mathews surmises, “It is hard to see how [Common Core State Standards] can survive.”

It is hard to square Mathew’s foregone conclusion with the evidence from states. A report by Achieve this year found more than half of states significantly narrowed their “Honesty Gaps” over the past two years by implementing rigorous standards and high-quality assessments. “States should really be commended for starting to be more transparent with parents and educators about how their kids are doing,” said Sandy Boyd, COO for Achieve. “It really is the first step in improving outcomes.”

Similarly, a Harvard University study earlier this year finds 45 states have raised their proficiency standards in reading and math since most began implementing Common Core State Standards. “Now, in the wake of the Common Core campaign, a majority of states have made a dramatic move forward…The Common Core consortium has achieved one of its key policy objectives: the raising of state proficiency standards throughout much of the United States,” the report notes.

By setting rigorous, clear expectations for all students, Common Core State Standards will ensure young people graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers. And as teachers continue to use high-quality assessments to support students, they will help greater numbers of students to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed after high school.

In fact, as Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute explains, it is “impossible” to create education that prepare students for college and careers and that look nothing like the Common Core. “That’s because Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college or to land a good-paying job.”