In their latest assessment of state English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute compares states’ standards not just to each other, but to the Common Core State Standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Fordham graded each state and the Common Core standards on an “A” through “F” scale, giving the Common Core math standards a grade of A-minus and the Common Core ELA standards a B-plus.
Among the other findings in The State of State Standards – and the Common Core – in 2010 report:
- The Common Core standards are clearer and more rigorous than the ELA and math standards presently used by the vast majority of states.
- The Common Core standards are superior to standards currently in use in 39 states in math and 37 states in English. For 33 states, the Common Core is superior in both math and reading.
- Three states have ELA standards that are superior to the Common Core: California, the District of Columbia, and Indiana.
- Eleven more states have ELA standards that are at least as clear and rigorous as the Common Core (or “too close to call”).
- Eleven states and the District of Columbia have math standards in the “too close to call” category, compared with the Common Core standards.
To date, 36 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. One of the factors that these states and those that have not adopted thus far must take into account is the comparison of their state standards with the Common Core. What Fordham’s analysis shows is that for many states that choose to adopt the Common Core Standards, the bar will be raised for student achievement.