As many states make the transition to new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards, student scores are expected to drop significantly. These lower scores will not be indicative of a change in student ability, but rather a reflection of more truthful measuring tools used by educators. Here is what education stakeholders have to say about the importance of honest student assessment, in their own words:
Common Core Standards offer all students chance for success
By Jimmy Spradley, The Tennessean
September 19, 2013
"In 2007, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Tennessee an F for "Truth in Advertising," calling out the state for having some of the lowest academic standards in the country. While large percentages of students were deemed "proficient" on 2005 state assessments, much smaller percentages of students were proficient on national exams.
"In response to the U.S. Chamber's criticism, the state began to align Tennessee's education standards to skills needed to succeed in education and in the workplace.
"Common Core is not a curriculum but a set of expectations that helps students develop greater critical thinking skills and exposes them to real-world concepts. These new, more rigorous standards were designed with the end in mind, reflecting the knowledge and skills our young people are expected to have when they enroll in postsecondary education and enter the workforce."
By Wendy Kopp, New York Daily News
August 30, 2013
"I encourage my fellow parents to embrace the results, as discouraging as they may seem. We've been in the dark for too long. Like many parents, I've struggled to judge what my children's grades and test scores actually mean - how well they're stacking up against the best-educated students in this country, let alone in others.
"Common Core results finally give families an accurate barometer of whether our kids are mastering the skills they need to succeed in a knowledge-based global economy, early enough that we can intervene.
"Tests that sugar-coat the truth only set up our kids to fail in worse ways down the road. Last year, only about one in four seniors who graduated from New York City high schools were college-ready (and that was an improvement). The U.S. used to lead the world in producing college graduates. Today we're the world leader in producing college dropouts. I'd much rather have a test that gives my family a wake-up call and a roadmap to improve."
By Stanley S. Litow, Crain's New York Business
August 25, 2013
"New York's disappointing showing on the first Common Core Standards test for reading and math touched off a call for retreat from the new standards. That would be a huge mistake. "Similar outcomes are expected in every state that tests to these higher standards. Kentucky's scores fell dramatically, but educators, legislators and parents understood why and continued to support Common Core. In New York, we must do the same.
"If low scores prompt us to dumb down standards and expect less from students and teachers, we will have made a grave error. Well-designed tests give us information to improve teaching and learning. The current test isn't perfect. No test is. And the preparation for both teachers and students must also improve. But this is a strong initial effort that will only get better over time. It deserves our support."
Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core.
If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at firstname.lastname@example.org.