(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Could the adoption of common core standards lead to substantial academic gains, even if somehow developed and kept at a high level in some imaginary Federal Reserve type fortress of political solitude and kept safe from the great national dummy down?
I ran NAEP numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and calculated the total gains on the main NAEP exams (4th and 8th grade Reading and Math) for the period that all states have been taking NAEP (2003-2009). In order to minimize educational and socio-economic differences, I compared the scores of non-special program (ELL, IEP) children eligible for a free or reduced price lunch.
I then ranked those 50 states, and the table below presents the Top 10, along with the total grades by year for the strength of state proficiency standards as measured by Paul Peterson. Peterson judges state assessments by comparing scores on the state exam to those on NAEP.
To my eyes, it looks as though either nothing or next to nothing is going on here. The top three performers (FL, DC and PA) have unremarkable standards vis a vis NAEP. Russ Whitehurst has written that some commercially available curriculum packages have shown good results in random assignment studies.
Jolly good- I suggest states adopt them rather than this politically naive common core standards effort.
|NAEP Gains in 4h and 8th Grade Math and Reading for FRL, Non-IEP, Non-ELL students, 2003-09 for the Top 10 states (FL=1, NY = 10) compared to State Standards Grades by Peterson and Lastron-Adanon|