Daniel Hamlin and Paul Petersen with the Harvard University analyzed states’ 2017 proficiency standards at Education Next and what they found should not surprise anyone who reads Truth in American Education.
There is no evidence to suggest they increase student achievement.
Here is an excerpt:
So, has the starting gun been fired on a race to the bottom? Have the bars for reaching academic proficiency fallen as many states have loosened their commitment to Common Core? And, is there any evidence that the states that have raised their proficiency bars since 2009 have seen greater growth in student learning?
In a nutshell, the answers to these three questions are no, no, and, so far, none.
On average, state proficiency standards have remained as high as they were in 2015. And they are much higher today than they were in 2009 when the Common Core movement began. That year, the percentage of students found to be proficient in math and reading on state exams was 37 percentage points higher than on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an exam that is widely recognized as maintaining a high bar for academic proficiency. By 2015, that gap had narrowed to just 10 percent. Now, recently released data for 2017 reveal a difference of only 9 percent.
The news is not all good. Even though states have raised their standards, they have not found a way to translate these new benchmarks into higher levels of student test performance. We find no correlation at all between a lift in state standards and a rise in student performance, which is the central objective of higher proficiency bars. While higher proficiency standards may still serve to boost academic performance, our evidence suggests that day has not yet arrived.
Where I beg to differ with the gentlemen is that Common Core represents a “lift in state standards.” It doesn’t.