Today the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed to adopt the Common Core Standards for state standardized testing. In a 9-0 vote, Massachusetts became the 28th state in the U.S. to approve the new national standard and another 12 should follow suite by the Fall. In a couple of years the MCAS exam will be history.
So how exactly do the MCAS and all the other state exams stack up against the Common Core? There’s been a lot of debate here in Boston area and I found this great resource published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute where they compared the state standards in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to the Common Core. Let the data put the debate to rest.
In Math, 39 states clearly had a standard that was inferior to the Common Core, and twelve states had equivalent standards with MA being one of those twelve.
In English, only three states had standards that were clearly superior. Those were California, D.C. and Indiana. Eleven states (MA among them) clearly had an equivalent standard while the rest of the states had standards that were clearly inferior to the Common Core.
So on the whole it seems that most states that move to the Common Core will be moving up from inferior standards. When it comes to MA, it seems for most part the Common Core will be in the same league as the MCAS exam. At the end of the does this help students learn any better? Not sure that’s the case.
What do you think? Do you think a move to a common standard is a beneficial move to schools? How about for students?
Image Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
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