School & District Management

Study: Common Standards Will Not Affect Student Achievement

By Catherine Gewertz — February 16, 2012 1 min read
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Will the Common Core State Standards improve student achievement? Not according to a new study out today.

The crux of the argument in the Brookings Institution report is that there is not much of a connection between standards—even rigorous ones—and student achievement. If there was a connection, we would have seen signs of improvement from states’ own individual standards—all states have had standards since 2003—but NAEP scores don’t bear that out, author Tom Loveless argues.

Loveless also points to a 2009 Brookings study that found no connection between the quality of states’ standards and their students’ NAEP scores. Loveless examines NAEP scores from 2003 to 2009 and finds no correlation between the quality of states’ standards and NAEP gains during that period.

Loveless also looks at performance standards, or the “cut points” set for proficiency on states’ tests, to examine the argument that the presumed higher cut scores on the future tests for the common standards will help drive better student achievement. Again, he finds that cut scores are unrelated to NAEP performance.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.