The Thomas B Fordham Institute has been widely recognized as giving the Common Core State Standards a grade that the standards can’t possibly support. They have been widely criticized for accepting $1 million from the Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core Standards. (Link)
But before the Common Core, the Fordham Institute had been grading state education standards since 1996. And that is what I want to focus on today.
It has been said that the Common Core Standards are better than 90% of state education standards in 2010. And while I do not want to debate how the Common Core was graded by Fordham, I do want to talk about the history of South Dakota Standards, and more specifically the grades those standards received.
In 2005, before the Common Core, Fordham released “The State of State Math Standards” by David Klein professor of Mathematics at California State University in Northridge. He is an advocate of increasingly rigorous treatment of mathematics in school curricula and a frequently cited opponent of reforms based on the NCTM standards (Common Core Math). In this report Fordham gave our 2005 standards a “C”. One of the first things Fordham noted was that replacing the standards we had in place in 2000 was a “misstep”. You see, Fordham had given the math standards that were in place in 2000 an “A”.
In 2005, Fordham also released the report “The State of the State English Standards”. In that report, written by Sandra Stotsky, Ed D., who led Massachusetts to number one in the nation on the NAEP, gave South Dakota English standards that were in place in 2005 a “B”. While there were suggestions on how to improve those standards by adding to the 7-12 literature standards, those standards were a solid “B”.
South Dakota wrote the math standards we had in place in 2000. We could use those. They were an “A”
South Dakota wrote the English language arts standards we had in place in 2005. While there were suggestions on how to improve those standards by adding to the 7-12 literature standards, those standards were a solid “B”. As a matter of fact, we were ranked number 6 in the nation for our English standards.
So when asked, “If we replace the Common Core, what do we replace it with? If we can’t reference other multi state standards, how will we write new standards?”
Oh and there are tests that we can use that are not Common Core aligned that can be used for accountability. Tests that have many years of validity and reliability.
- The Iowa Test of Basic Skills Form A (normed in 2005) grades K-8
- Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) Form A (normed in 2005) grades 9-12
- Stanford 10 ONLINE (normed in 2007), Grades 3-12