Common Core State Standards Content

Concerns have been raised about the actual content of the standards.  Some of the concerns are provided below as well as links to additional information and reviews of the standards.

The CCSS Mathematics Standards:

  • Delay development of some key concepts and skills.
  • Include significant mathematical sophistication written at a level beyond understanding of most parents, students, administrators, decision makers and many teachers.
  • Lack coherence and clarity to be consistently interpreted by students, parents, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, textbook developers/publishers, and assessment developers.  Will this lead to consistent expectations and equity?
  • Have standards inappropriately placed, including delayed requirement for standard algorithms, which will hinder student success and waste valuable instructional time.
  • Treat important topics unevenly.  This will result in inefficient use of instructional and practice time.
  • Are not well organized at the high school level.  Some important topics are insufficiently covered. The standards are not divided into defined courses.
  • Place emphasis on Standards for Mathematical Practice which supports a constructivist approach. This approach is typical of “reform” math programs to which many parents across the country object.
  • Publishers of reform programs are aligning them with the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice.  The CCSS will not necessarily improve the math programs being used in many schools.
  • Unusual and unproven approach to geometry.

The Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (ELA):

  • Use confusing language in some standards.
  • Are not always clear or measureable on expected student outcomes.
  • Are not always organized in a logical way and are difficult to follow.
  • Treat literary elements inconsistently.
  • Have some writing standards that are general and do not specify what a student should be able to know or do.
  • Focus on skills over content in reading.
  • Do not address or require cursive writing.

Additional Information and Reviews of the CCSS

Carmichael, S. B., Martino, G., Porter-Magee, K., & Wilson, W.S.  The State of State Standards–and the Common Core–in 2010.  (2011, July 21).  The Fordham Institute
http://www.edexcellence.net/publications-issues/publications/the-state-of-state.html

Madigan, K., Stotsky, S., & Wurman, Z.  (2010, July).  National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade:  Why Massachusetts and California Must Retain Control Over Their Academic Destinies Part I:  Review of Four Sets of English Language Arts Standards. A Pioneer Institute White Paper  No. 63. http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/100719_national_standards_part_I.pdf

Milgram, J.  (2011, April 17) James Milgram on the new Core Curriculum standards in math. http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/james-milgram-on-the-new-core-curriculum-standards-in-math/

Milgram, R. J.  I2010).  Review of Final Draft Core Standards.  http://concernedabouteducation.posterous.com/review-of-common-core-math-standards

Stotsksy, S.  (2011, April 17).  Sandra Stotsky on the mediocrity of the Common Core ELA standards.  http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/sandra-stotsky-on-the-mediocrity-of-the-common-core-ela-standards/

Stotsky, S., & Wurman, Z.  (2010, July).   Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade:  Why Massachusetts and California Must Regain Control Over Their Academic Destinies.   A Pioneer Institute White Paper No. 65. http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/common_core_standards.pdf

Comments On the Common Core Standards for Math June 2010 K-12 Final.  (2010).  Submitted by the U. S. Coalition for World Class Math. http://www.box.net/shared/hh72a91j19

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