Common Core may well represent one of the most controversial education policies implemented in America in a generation, but a new study from the Brookings Institute indicates that the policy may be having little impact on academic outcomes.
You can read the full report from the Brookings Institute here. The authors grouped states by their adherence to Common Core standards, as you can see from this table (North Dakota readers note our state is in 4th group, the group with policies most like Common Core).
Then they tracked the groups and their progress using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The comparison “reveals no systemic relationship between the states’ MSU ratings [congruence to Common Core standards] and changes in NAEP from 2009 to 2013.”
Not only that, but the states with policies least in congruence with Common Core standards did the best. “Indeed, states with standards most different from the CCSS gained the most on NAEP,” though the study also notes that states with policies most like Common Core did second best.
So, there doesn’t really appear to be any statistical relationship between states adopting Common Core and better education outcomes.
There has been a lot of criticism of Common Core, ranging from fair-minded critiques to outright conspiracy theories. But it may well be that the worst thing we could say about it is, despite the money spent implementing it and the large amount of political turmoil it has inspired, it doesn’t appear to be working very well.
At least so far.