Are High Standards Leading To Better Outcomes?
The Collaborative for Student Success was created to help push the Common Core State Standards, and it remains devoted to that goal and proudly announcing "The Results Are In: High Standards Are Leading to Better Outcomes," a headline we can take just about as seriously as a headline from the Ford PR department announcing that the new Ford Taurus Is Awesome!
CSS is an astro-turf advocacy group, a group built with money from the usual suspects to push the Core on the rest of us. The list of funders includes the Broad Foundation, ExxonMobile, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and, of course, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its website lists it as a project of the New Venture Fund, a group funded by Gates to support the Core "through comprehensive and targeted communications and advocacy." You can check out more connectionscourtesy of the indispensable Mercedes Schneider, but you get the general gist-- these guys exists only to try to convince us all that the Core are wonderful.
This, of course, does not mean that they cannot possibly say True Things, so while we have to view these Results that are In with a suspicious eye, we can still evaluate their actual merits, if any.
The Results are pretty much meaningless, or possibly alarming. Here's the main claim:
Among third grade students – students whose entire academic careers have been guided by high standards – math scores increased by more than three percentage points.
Let me rephrase that just a bit.
Among third graders-- students whose entire academic careers have been spent taking and prepping for the Big Standardized Test and who have never known a school that was not organized around CURMUDGUCATION: Are High Standards Leading To Better Outcomes?: