There has been a lot written about the Common Core. This is a list of some of the books, reports and resources used in making this documentary.
Development of the Common Core State Standards
- Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in American Education by Robert Rothman
Preparation of American Students
- Reading Between the Lines by ACT
This study shows only about half of students who took the ACT college entrance exam were ready for college-level reading.
- Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
PISA compares how well 15-year-olds in 65 cities and countries can apply math, science and reading skills to solve real-world problems. The U.S. ranks 17th in reading, 20th in science and 27th in math.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NAEP is the “largest continuing and nationally representative assessment” of what American students know and can do in core subjects including math and reading. The most recent results show 42 percent of American fourth graders are proficient in math; 35 percent are proficient in reading. Among eighth graders, 35 percent are proficient in math and 36 percent are proficient in reading. NAEP shows that by 12th grade, 39 percent of American students are prepared for college-level math and 38 percent are prepared for college-level reading.
- Not Just the Problems of Other People’s Children: U.S. Student Performance in Global Perspective by Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson and Ludger Woessmann
Parental education has long been shown to be one of the best indicators of a student’s performance in school, but this report shows that even American students from highly educated families score poorly on international exams compared to their counterparts in other parts of the industrialized world.
Previous State Standards Compared with the Common Core
- The State of State Standards—and the Common Core—in 2010 (Fordham Institute)
This report found that the Common Core State Standards are clearer and more rigorous than the standards previously used by the vast majority of states.
- Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales: Variation and Change in State Standards for Reading and Mathematics, 2005-2009 (National Center for Education Statistics)
This U.S. Department of Education report shows that prior to Common Core, most state proficiency standards were at or below the National Assessment of Educational Progress definition of “basic” performance.
- Curricular Coherence and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics by William Schmidt and Richard Houang
This study found the Common Core State Standards in mathematics to be similar to curricular standards in countries that are high achieving on international assessments.
Teacher Opinion about the Common Core
- Primary Sources Survey, Scholastic and the Gates Foundation
Primary Sources is the largest survey of America’s teachers. Results from the 2013 survey found that 73 percent of teachers of math, English language arts (ELA), science and/or social studies in Common Core states say they are enthusiastic about the implementation of the Standards in their classrooms.
- Teacher Perspectives on the Common Core, EPE Research Center
This 2012 survey of American teachers found that most teachers think the Common Core Standards are the same as or better than their previous state standards and that implementing the Common Core will help them improve their teaching.
- Education Next Poll, Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance
Results from the 2013 poll showed 76 percent of teachers backed the Common Core State Standards; 2014 results showed only 46 percent of teachers backed the Common Core.
Research about the Common Core
- A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards, Center on Education Policy
This compendium includes over 60 research studies focused on the Common Core State Standards. For each study, a short summary is provided as well as a link to the original research. The compendium will be updated regularly as the body of Common Core-related research grows.
- A Progress Report on the Common Core by Tom Loveless
This report examines whether states that were early adopters of the Common Core are seeing test score gains on NAEP tests and finds no significant gains so far.
Criticism of the Common Core
- Faith in Common Standards Not Enough by Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst and Michelle Croft
This article finds no correlation between student achievement and the quality or difficulty of previous state standards and raises the question of whether higher standards will lead to better education outcomes.
- Carol Burris is principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, New York and a critic of the way Common Core is being implemented. You can read her blog posts here.
- Sandra Stotsky, professor emerita at the University of Arkansas, was a member of the Common Core Validation Committee, but refused to sign off on the standards. You can read why here.
- Diane Ravitch is an outspoken critic of the Common Core. She was an as assistant U.S. Secretary of Education under both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. You can read her blog here.
- The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest)
FairTest is an organization that advocates against the use of standardized testing in education. The organization has created a fact sheet on what it says are the main problems with Common Core tests.