The New Educational Yardstick
The Common Core Standards are meant to map out what students should understand, specifically regarding reading and math skills, by each grade. By the end of 2013, 45 states and Washington DC had adopted Common Core, and by the 2014-15 school year every state was required to have Common Core aligned assessments to ensure that students were “college and career ready”. Some opponents have criticized the quality of the standards, claiming that they haven’t been field tested, but now the results are in.
The NAEP, or National Assessment of Educational Progress, is a program that essentially produces a national report card to inform the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students. The NAEP is sponsored by the Department of Education, and its assessments have been conducted in several subjects since 1969. These tests are done in grades 4, 8, and 12 to track changes in achievement over time, and also to compare states’ success. The NAEP collects and reports these scores, and the results are considered an important factor in evaluating the state of education in our country.
These assessments go through an intensive development process to meet the highest standards of reliability that reflect changes in curriculum. More recently, this includes the adoption of the Common Core standards.
Common Core Test Results
The NAEP tested a representative sample of high school seniors in Fall 2015 after seven years of Common Core curriculum. The NAEP tests showed that the average performance of these high school seniors dropped in math and failed to improve in reading from 2013 to 2015. College readiness is a main goal of the Common Core standards, but the 2015 tests also showed a 2% drop from the 39% of students that were considered prepared for college level work in 2013.
Even more troubling for our math tutors to hear is that while the scores for students in the highest percentile group slightly improved in reading, they dropped in both reading and math for students in the lower achieving levels. Students that scored below “basic” levels in both subjects also increased from 2013’s tests. Test scores for students in 4th and 8th grades who have been exposed to Common Core aligned curriculum for most of their educational lives showed a similar drop in math scores.
Students with disabilities, English Language learners and children living in poverty are the most at risk of continuing to fail to meet these standards, even though Common Core was designed to support these students the most. With a great majority of students failing to meet the achievement goals, Terry Mazany, the chairman of the governing board for the test, called the results “worrisome”.
Common Core standards and the aligned assessments have so far not been able to show improvement in students’ test scores. As such, the political battles over Common Core will most likely continue to be a hot topic in the months ahead as the school year closes.
Our Common Core math tutors are credentialed teachers that have hands-on experience with aligning learning to fit the Common Core standards. Our professional private math tutors are also adept at increasing comprehension of Common Core concepts that children commonly struggle with. Give us a call today at 1-877-947-3224 to find out how REACH Pro Tutoring can help your child achieve academic success!