Common Core Standards Draft Has Several Major Flaws

Paul Barton , former director of the  ETS Policy Information Center and an expert on school to work transitions, has provided a multi- faceted critique of the Common Core Standards proposed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers ( Forty eight states are participating in this endeavor. Barton supports my earlier contention that  claims in the draft contending that college ready standards are identical to standards for readiness to begin worforce preparation programs is not supported by the evidence in the draft ,or the current research base. Here is a summary of Barton’s conclusions:

Although the draft standards represent a very large step toward developing an understanding and agreement about what should be taught in public education,

The case is not made that succeeding in college and succeeding in work, whether one goes to college or not, requires the same high school curriculum—that one size fits all.

The case is not made that one size fits all even for going to college.

There is a knowledge base on what work requires that can be exploited to inform curriculum decisions and to advise students about opportunities and what it requires to prepare for them.

Benchmarking efforts that examine the international experience need to broaden their look to include not just the differences in curriculum and an assumption that those differences account for the better performance of some countries.

The standards need to be considered in the light of how they relate to and impact the great diversity existing in the different levels of math and English courses in high school, and the diversity in existing types of secondary schools, not to mention the variations in the interests and aspirations of individual students.

The standards need to be placed within a vision of the whole of a complete curriculum that fulfills the purposes of the free public education provided through 12 years—a purpose much broader than college and career readiness.

Standards need to take their place along side a concern about reducing school dropout rates as well as a concern about taking those who graduate to higher levels of achievement.

For a copy of Barton’s paper go to and request the paper: Comments Regarding Draft Common Standards And “Validation”

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