Tom Loveless: Does the Common Core Matter?

Diane Ravitch's blog

In the spring of 2012, Brookings scholar Tom Loveless set off a firestorm when he wrote a study of the Common Core State Standards and concluded that they would make little or no difference in student achievement.

He did not pass judgment on the quality of the standards but on the question of how much standards matter.

He wrote:

“The finding is clear: The quality of state standards has not mattered. From 2003 to 2009, states with terrific standards raised their National Assessment of Educational Progress scores by roughly the same margin as states with awful ones.”

Does rigor matter? In fourth grade, he found, that was some evidence that raising cut points “is associated with increased achievement. But the effect is not large, and it is difficult to determine the direction of causality. At 8th grade, states with lenient cut points have made NAEP gains similar to those of…

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