Entries by James Milgram

Mediocrity 2.0: Massachusetts Rebrands Common Core ELA and Math

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.

Study Finds Common Core Math Standards Will Reduce Enrollment in High-Level High School Math Courses, Dumb Down College Stem Curriculum

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.

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

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.”

Fair to Middling: A National Standards Progress Report

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.