The Common Core State Standards: Insight into Their Development and Purpose

To assist states in answering questions on how the Common Core State Standards were developed and why, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) worked with David T. Conley, Co-Chair of the Validation Committee for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, to publish this document. In the paper, Conley addresses the following: the rationale for the standards; an overview of how they were developed; a summary of the research base supporting them; some of the evidence that the Common Core State Standards will prepare students for college and careers; insight into the changes in teaching and learning that are likely to occur as the standards are implemented; and how to use the standards. Conley also analyzes several common arguments against the standards and provides clarifying information opposing those arguments.

Content Comments 

Six purposes of this article are clearly stated at the beginning of the article, including a brief history of the development of the Common Core State Standards, evidence that the standards will result in greater student leaning, and how educators might use the standards. This is a very tall order in just 8 pages, with a bulk of the article focusing on the history of the standards, much of which is fairly well  known, and only a short section that addresses issues raised by those opposed to the standards. Consequently, the article, published by CCSSO, a strong proponent of the CCSS, only partially achieves its goals. Opponents of the CCSS would most likely suggest bias, especially when reading comments in very large letters saying that the Common Core State Standards start from a position of strength. That said, the article is written by a noted authority in the education research field, communicates effectively, and provides reasonable evidence in support of the CCSS. Users are most likely to be proponents of the CCSS. It is difficult to estimate a real effect on learning from any single article, but this one certainly should help to inform the debate.