The 2017 update of Massachusetts’ English and math K-12 academic standards represents further deterioration in English, while the math standards are essentially unchanged from the 2010 version, according to the first independent evaluation of the newly revised standards. The 2010 standards, which were based on Common Core, led to declining scores on national tests in both English and math.
About James Milgram
R. James Milgram, is professor emeritus of algebraic topology at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1970. He has authored more than 100 published mathematics papers and four books. Milgram simultaneously received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and three years later completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Minnesota.
However, the greatest harm to higher education may accrue from the alignment of the SAT to Common Core’s high school standards, converting the SAT from an adaptable test predictive of college work to an inflexible retrospective test aligned to and locking in a low level of mathematics. This means that future SAT scores will be less informative to college admission counselors than they now are, and that the SAT will lose its role in locating students with high STEM potential in high schools with weak mathematics and science instruction.
This paper began as a response to the attempt by Professor Jason Zimba, a lead writer of Common Core’s mathematics standards, to revise in 2013 what he said about the meaning of “college readiness” in 2010. Zimba’s original comments on this topic were uttered at the March 2010 meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. In the official minutes of this meeting, we find the following: “Mr. Zimba said that the concept of college readiness is minimal and focuses on nonselective colleges.”
Testimony to the California Academic Content Standards Commission provided in July 2010.
The purpose of this April 2010 progress report is to indicate how Common Core’s March drafts have addressed the deficiencies and limitations in its September and January drafts, and to spell out major areas needing further work. The analysis we present in this progress report shows that, although progress has been made, considerably more work is needed, particularly at the secondary level, to enable Common Core’s mathematics and English language arts (ELA) standards to be internationally benchmarked and to serve as the basis for valid and reliable high school exit level assessments.