by Kathleen PorterMagee
Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institute ignores a significant element of the research on Common Core State Standards.
It's the Implementation
- Whitehurst “concluded that the effects of curriculum on student achievement are larger, more certain, and less expensive than the effects of popular reforms such as common standards…”
- His point is that setting standards alone does very little, but that a thoughtfully and faithfully implemented rigorous curricula can move the achievement needle, sometimes dramatically.
- Whitehurst himself acknowledges. In 2009, he argued that “high quality common standards” can affect student achievement, but only
- “in a system in which there are also aligned assessments, and aligned curriculum, and accountability for educators, and accountability for students, and aligned professional development, and managerial autonomy for school leaders, and teachers who drawn from the best and brightest, and so on.”
Standards are a 1st Step
That said, Loveless is certainly right that standards—no matter how clear or how rigorous—are not a panacea that will transform our education system. But, setting clear and rigorous standards, as many states did by adopting the Common Core, is a critical first step towards driving achievement. Now it’s up to the states to commit themselves to properly implementing them.