Academic Standards

Pioneer Institute has been a staunch advocate for district and school accountability, high-quality academic content, and content-based student and teacher assessments that align with the state’s nation-leading academic standards.

Nationally, Pioneer has led the campaign against federal control of K-12 education policy through the Common Core initiative. Pioneer has published a series of research papers showing that the state’s adoption of national standards weakens the quality of academic content in Massachusetts’ classrooms, and raising serious questions about the legality and the costs of Common Core.

Research

Common Core

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Study: Common Core & 2 Testing Consortia Violate Federal Laws, Unlikely to Improve Academic Achievement

Study: Common Core and Two Testing Consortia Violate Federal Laws, Are Unlikely to Improve Academic Achievement “Competitive federalism” doesn’t run afoul of federal law, would produce better results Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – In the wake of the U.S. House and Senate’s passage of bills that would reauthorize the federal […]

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Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester Should Recuse Himself from Upcoming Decision on PARCC & MCAS

BOSTON – Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, who later this year will make a recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (the board) about whether to replace MCAS tests with those developed by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), chairs PARCC’s governing board. Pioneer […]

Closeup shot over words Conflict of Interest on paper

Pioneer Institute Statement on MBAE PARCC/MCAS Study

Recently, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) continued its advocacy for Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a federally funded testing consortium, with the release of a study concluding that the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) performance is not an indicator of preparedness for higher education […]

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New Report: The Successes and Challenges of Educating Military-Connected Children

Study finds college and career readiness focus of Common Core a disconnect with students from Military Families since majority are under seven years old BOSTON – A remarkable education system has been created to benefit Military-Connected Children, enabling them to perform academically as well as or better than children whose families are not in the […]

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Common Core Math Will Reduce Enrollment in High-Level High School Courses

Study Finds Common Core Math Standards Will Reduce Enrollment in High-Level High School Math Courses, Dumb Down College STEM Curriculum Lower standards, alignment of SAT to Common Core likely to hurt low-income students the most BOSTON – Common Core math standards (CCMS) end after just a partial Algebra II course.  This weak Algebra II course […]

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Study: Common Core ELA Standards Will Further Harm U.S. History Instruction

Study Says Common Core ELA Standards Will Further Harm U.S. History Instruction States and schools should offer separate standards and classes for English and U.S. History rather than follow Common Core approach of merging academic disciplines BOSTON – By trying to include U.S. History in English language arts (ELA) standards, Common Core will further damage […]

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Gov. Jindal’s Common Core Lawsuit Draws on Pioneer’s Research

BOSTON – The legal complaint issued by Governor Jindal’s office clearly builds off Pioneer Institute’s white paper “The Road to a National Curriculum,” co-authored by former U.S. Department of Education General Counsel Kent Talbert, Deputy General Counsel Robert Eitel, as well as Bill Evers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The publication was a joint […]

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States Should Adopt Stand-Alone Teacher Licensure Test in Reading Linked to Common Core

States Should Adopt Stand-Alone Teacher Licensure Test in Reading Linked to Common Core Passing the test should be a requirement for all early education and elementary school teachers, most special education teachers BOSTON – States that have adopted the Common Core English language arts standards should require prospective elementary school teachers to pass a stand-alone […]

DataBreach

Study: New Technology, Relaxation of Protections Threaten Student Privacy

Press Release: Study Finds That New Technology, Relaxation of Protections Threaten Student Privacy Federal government using grants to induce states to build identical, increasingly sophisticated student-data systems Contact: Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277, ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinst.wpengine.com BOSTON – New technology allows advocates for education as workforce development to accomplish what has long been out of their reach: […]

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Study Finds Poetry Slighted in Common Core English Standards

Significant overall reduction in time spent on classic literary texts will make it difficult to give poetry the prominence it deserves BOSTON – April is National Poetry Month, but poetry is not well addressed in Common Core’s English language arts standards. It’s unclear whether the genre will survive a Common Core-based English classroom given the […]

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Common Core English and Math Standards Not Properly Validated

Study Finds Common Core English and Math Standards Not Properly Validated Some Validation Committee members refused to attest that the standards are comparable to those in the world’s highest-performing countries BOSTON – Five of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign a report attesting that the standards are research-based, rigorous […]

Math problems on chalk board

Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare Students for STEM

BOSTON – National mathematics standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia that supporters say are designed to make high school graduates “college- and career-ready” and improve the critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline do not prepare students to study STEM or even be admitted to a selective four-year college, according […]

Two teenage girls and teenage boy (14-16) walking up school steps, rear view

New Research on Common Core Damaging State/Local School Autonomy

Study Calls on U.S. Dept. of Education to Stop Using Adoption of Common Core as Condition or Incentive for Receipt of Federal Funds and Waivers In preface, Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley says education policy best made at level of government closest to students, parents BOSTON – The United States Department of Education (USED) should […]

Weld & Birmingham

Celebrating 20 Years of Education Reform in Massachusetts

Birmingham, Weld Oppose MA Adopting Common Core, Call for Lifting Charter School Caps Pioneer forum celebrates 20th anniversary of education reform with Weld, Birmingham, and panel of contributors to Bay State’s historic reforms Two of the three primary authors of Massachusetts’ landmark 1993 Education Reform Act questioned Massachusetts’ decision to jettison its academic standards in […]

New Study Suggests Remedies for Common Core Literature Deficit

State and local education policy makers in the 46 states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards should emphasize the literary-historical content that already exists in the standards and add an additional literature-based standard to address Common Core’s lack of literary content.

STUDY ESTIMATES COST OF TRANSITION TO NATIONAL EDUCATION STANDARDS AT $16 BILLION

New study finds that aligning state and local educational systems to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math will cost the 45 states plus the District of Columbia that have adopted them nearly $16 billion over seven years.

Common Core Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade

Common Core Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade Former Massachusetts and California Math and ELA Standards Remain Superior to National Standards Contact Samantha Levine-Neudel at 617-723-2277 ext. 211, or slevine@pioneerinst.wpengine.com Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO – The Commonwealth’s adoption of national education standards is again in the news, with the […]

National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade

National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade Academic Standards in Massachusetts and California Remain Significantly Better Than the Proposed Common Core Standards Contact Jamie Gass at 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinst.wpengine.com National Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO – Adopting the final draft of proposed national education standards in English language arts (ELA) […]

New Pioneer/Pacific Research Institute Report: Weak National Standards Basis for Weak National Tests

New Pioneer/Pacific Research Institute Report: Weak National Standards Basis for Weak National Tests Contact Jamie Gass at 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinst.wpengine.com The Emperor’s New Clothes BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO – A new report demonstrates that fundamental flaws within the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s push for national academic standards, especially the weak definition of college and […]

Fair to Middling: High-Standards States Far Exceed National Standards

Fair to Middling: High-Standards States Far Exceed National Standards Drafts Reviewers give CCSSI math a “B-”, ELA a “C-” Fair to Middling: A National Standards Progress Report Contact Jamie Gass at 617-723-2277 ext. 210, or jgass@pioneerinst.wpengine.com BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO – On the final day of public comments on draft national standards, two nationally known curricular experts […]

MCAS Test Items

Below are the test items developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for use in the tests given to all Massachusetts public school students as part of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). They were used in MCAS tests at all grade levels and for all subjects tested, from 1998 on.

MCAS grade 10 ELA 2012

MCAS grade 10 ELA 2011

MCAS Grade 10 ELA 2010

MCAS 2007

MCAS 2006

MCAS 2005

MCAS 2004

MCAS 2003

MCAS 2002

MCAS 2001

MCAS 2000

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