Not So Gold Standards

A new study is out that demonstrates that state standards reform might not lead to student achievement.  According to this study changes that have been made to several stateā€™s standards over the last 20 years have not brought about student achievement The study is was completed by Joshua Goodman of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  You can read the study here.

Hereā€™s the abstract:

Proponents of the recent and widely adopted Common Core State Standards argue that high quality curricular standards are critical to studentsā€™ educational success. Little clear evidence exists, however, linking the quality of such standards to student achievement. I remedy this by connecting data on state-level student achievement from 1994-2011 with measures of the quality of statesā€™ curricular standards as judged by two independent organizations at three different moments in time. I show that, within states, changes in the quality of standards have little impact on overall student achievement. Improved standards do, however, raise achievement of 8th graders in low-scoring states, particularly for low-scoring students. Given the known weaknesses of U.S. middle schools, this result suggests that standards may be beneļ¬cial in settings where pedagogy would otherwise be poor.