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Knowledge From the Field

Out of Many, One: Toward Rigorous Common Core Standards From the Ground Up

Published: July 2008

Publisher(s): Achieve, Inc.

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

View Report (31 pages; 553KB; PDF)

Out of Many, One: Toward Rigorous Common Core Standards From the Ground Up

Area of focus: Educational Standards


In 2005, Achieve and 13 states created the ADP (American Diploma Project) Network to help states close the significant gap between what students need to know for postsecondary success and what states require them to demonstrate in order to earn a high school diploma. This report presents an analysis of the college- and career-ready standards for English in 12 states and for mathematics in 16 states. It also examines how those standards compare with the American population projectís benchmarks for common core standards.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+ Overall, the alignment of the English standards to the ADP Core is quite strong. On average, the alignment rating across all 12 state standards included in this report is 2.60 out of a potential 3.0.

+ Overall, the alignment of the mathematics standards to the ADP Core is strong. The average alignment rating across the 16 state standards in mathematics is 2.63.

= It is essential that states anchor standards in real world expectations. This led Achieve and the ADP states to focus initially on what students must know and be able to do when they complete high school. States must now follow through and review and revise, as necessary, their K-8 standards to create a focused, clear and rigorous set of grade-by-grade standards that provide a clear progression toward high school

= The common core does not mean that every state has identical standards but it does reflect the reality that there is a fundamental core of knowledge in English and mathematics that all graduates must know to succeed in college and careers.

- Too many students across the country meet state standards, pass state tests and complete state required courses only to be placed into remedial courses once they enroll in college or find they are unqualified for training programs and skilled employment in the modern workplace.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Educational standards; common core standards; achievement gap; college- career-ready; school reform

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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