New Study Finds Common Standards Weren’t Properly Validated   2 comments

New Pioneer Institute Study Finds Common Core Standards Weren’t Properly Validated

Five of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign a report attesting that the standards are research-based, rigorous and internationally benchmarked. The validation report was released with 24 signatures and included no mention that five committee members refused to sign it, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

What were the problems?

According to the Pioneer Institute press release, no member of the Common Core Validation Committee had a doctorate in English literature or language –and only one held a doctorate in math. (He was one of only three members with extensive experience writing standards.) Two of these three refused to sign off on the standards.

“Since all 50 states have had standards for a decade or more, there is a pool of people out there experienced in writing English and math standards,” said Ze’ev Wurman, author of “Common Core’s Validation: A Weak Foundation for a Crooked House.” “It’s unclear why so few of them were tapped for the Common Core Validation Committee.”

Wurman describes two studies conducted by members who signed the Validation Committee report in an attempt to provide post facto evidence that supported their earlier decisions. In both cases, the research was poorly executed and failed to provide evidence that Common Core is internationally competitive and can prepare American high school students for college-level work.

One study, conducted by Validation Committee member and Michigan State University educational statistician William Schmidt and a colleague, explored whether the Common Core math standards are comparable to those in the highest-performing nations and what outcomes might reasonably be expected after Common Core is implemented.

Wurman describes how even after Schmidt and his colleague rearranged the logical order in which concepts would be taught to make Common Core look more like the math standards in high-performing countries, there was still less than a 60 percent congruence between the two. Their initial results also found no correlation between student achievement and the states that have math standards most like Common Core.

After engaging in highly unconventional steps to increase both the congruence between Common Core and the international standards and the correlation between Common Core and student achievement (based on states whose standards were most similar to Common Core), Schmidt and his colleague wrote that they estimate congruence “in a novel way… coupled with several assumptions.” They acknowledge that their analyses “should be viewed as only exploratory… merely suggesting the possibility of a relationship,” yet such caution disappears in their final conclusion.

Wurman’s research also uncovered that basic information was coded incorrectly for Schmidt’s study and shows examples of concepts introduced in high school under Common Core listed as being taught in seventh grade.

Other studies have come to very different conclusions. Stanford University mathematician R. James Milgram, the only member of the Validation Committee with a doctorate in mathematics, said that Common Core is two years behind the math standards in the highest-performing countries. Milgram also wrote that Common Core fails to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Ze’ev Wurman is a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and a former senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Development, and Policy Development. In 2010, he served as a commissioner on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that evaluated Common Core’s suitability for adoption in that state.

Pioneer’s comprehensive research on Common Core national education standards includes: Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School Students for STEM; How Common Core’s ELA Standards Place College Readiness at Risk; Common Core Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade; The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers; National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards, and A Republic of Republics: How Common Core Undermines State and Local Autonomy over K-12 Education. Pioneer produced a video series: Setting the Record Straight: Part 1, and Part 2, and has earned national media coverage.

Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.

2 responses to “New Study Finds Common Standards Weren’t Properly Validated

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  1. I know this web site presents quality dependent content and other data, is there any other web
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  2. According to the Pioneer Institute press release, no member of the Common Core Validation Committee had a doctorate in English literature or language –and only one held a doctorate in math. (He was one of only three members with extensive experience writing standards.) Two of these three refused to sign off on the standards. — referring to Professor James ..

    Um.. that is like hugely inaccurate. and He didn’t sign off on the Standards.. because they asked him to leave. The man is obnoxious, hateful, obsessive, incredibly rude and thinks he’s the only one with an opinion in the room Also, he fakes data on his papers. Really.. I’m serious. Justs makes it up. You probably don’t want to hear all of this .. but lets see what you do with it.

    Alfinio Flores

    Hollowell Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and School of Education at the University of Delaware’s College of Flores is a nationally recognized expert in mathematics education and mathematics teaching and learning, curriculum development, and pre and in-service preparation of teachers of mathematics.

    Feng-Jui Hsieh

    Associate Professor in the Mathematics Department at the National Taiwan Normal University Hsieh researches mathematics learning, mathematics teaching, teacher education, and pre-service and in-service teacher professional development. He served as chairman of Taiwan’s first evaluation committee of the junior high school mathematics textbook, as a member of the first evaluation committee of the elementary school mathematics textbook, and as a member of the committee to develop the first national curriculum standards for private textbook publishers at the senior high school level. He has received grants from Taiwan’s National Science Council and Ministry of Education. Hsieh serves as Taiwan’s representative on two international studies administered by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement and the National Science Foundation.

    Jeremy Kilpatrick

    Regents Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia Kilpatrick, a charter member of the National Research Council’s (NRC) Mathematical Sciences Education Board, has received numerous education awards, including the Felix Klein Medal in 2007 for lifetime achievement in mathematics education from the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction and the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He chaired the committee that produced Adding It Up:Helping Children Learn Mathematics, a 2001 NRC report on arithmetic proficiency.

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