Massachusetts Knows How High, Comparable Standards Work


Massachusetts has been a leader in implementing high, comparable standards. But legislation introduced this past week in the state Senate would eliminate use of these high standards. In a new post, the Tenth Amendment Center argues that passing the legislation would be a positive step forward for the Commonwealth.

“Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first step toward bringing true academic choice, and freedom. Passage of this legislation into law represents a positive step forward for the people of Massachusetts and a path for other states to follow,” the blog claims.

Further prolonging this myth about high standards being some sort of national order required of states is getting to be pretty routine from the Tenth Amendment Center.

We’ve addressed this issue before with them here, here, and here and we are happy to reassure them that the Every Student Succeeds Act has prohibited federal authorities from meddling in states’ standards and accountability systems.

The law explicitly prohibits the federal government from incentivizing states to use any specific set of learning goals.

Massachusetts recognizes that high standards aren’t nationally set standards that are mandated by the federal government. If anything, the Commonwealth’s use of high, consistent standards has been a trendsetter for many other states. Massachusetts was one of the first states in the nation committed to using high standards, and has some of the highest performing students in the nation.

The Commonwealth adopted the Common Core in 2010 because the standards offer more consistency between districts and other states and set a high bar for students. In the nearly seven years since, Common Core State Standards have empowered Massachusetts to continue its role as a leader in education. The Honesty Gap analysis by Achieve identified Massachusetts as a “Top Truth Teller” for the second year in a row for reporting student proficiency rates that closely align with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

As the Massachusetts Education Secretary said when the Commonwealth adopted them, “All along, the conversation about Common Core has been about the Commonwealth seizing the opportunity to improve upon our already high standards… Today’s action ensures that Massachusetts will continue to be the recognized leader not only in performance but in setting the direction for the nation’s future education reforms.”

High, comparable standards are alive and well in the Commonwealth and there’s no reason to change course.