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THE STATE OF STATE STANDARDS—AND THE COMMON CORE: Common Core State Standards Are Stronger than Current Standards in Three Quarters of States, New Report Finds

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“The rigor and subject-matter content of the Common Core standards surpass most states’ standards in these subjects, though there are some intriguing exceptions.”

The Common Core State Standards released on June 2 are stronger than English language arts (ELA) standards in thirty-seven states and math standards in thirty-nine states, according to a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The report, The State of State Standards—and the Common Core—in 2010 also finds that the Common Core State Standards are better than both ELA and math standards in thirty-three of those states.

“The rigor and subject-matter content of the Common Core standards surpass most states’ standards in these subjects, though there are some intriguing exceptions,” said Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Fordham Institute. “As state officials decide whether to replace their present standards with the Common Core, we hope that they will consider this analysis. At the same time, they need to determine whether they have the capacity and will to implement whatever standards their states embrace. Rigorous standards are important, but they’re only the beginning.”

According to the report, only California, Indiana, and the District of Columbia have ELA standards that are clearly superior to those of the Common Core while eleven states are “too close to call,” meaning their standards are in the same league as the Common Core State Standards. The math standards in eleven states plus the District of Columbia were dubbed “too close to call.”

Already, more than half of the states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards in ELA and math. In compiling the Fordham Institute report, content experts reviewed the ELA and math standards of the fifty states and the District of Columbia that were in place prior to adoption. They also reviewed the Common Core State Standards and assigned a letter grade to each. Reviewers gave a grade of “A”to the Common Core State Standards in math and a “B+” to the Common Core State Standards in ELA. Grades given to a selected group of states appear in the table below.

the state of state standards

More information on the report is available at http://bit.ly/ao4Uvq.

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