Standards

A District-Level Effort to Replace the Common Core State Standards

By Andrew Ujifusa — July 08, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

What happens when a state sticks with the Common Core State Standards, but a district in that state decides to develop new content standards?

Unlike in many other states, districts in New Hampshire are not required to use the common core (see the bottom of page 2 of the document from the state education department). If they choose, districts can pick their own content standards. But if that sounds like a recipe for dozens of distinct standards in New Hampshire, remember that there’s a state assessment that must be aligned to the standards adopted by the state. So there’s a very strong disincentive for districts to deviate from the standards that they know students will be tested on every spring. New Hampshire plans to administer the Smarter Balanced tests next year.

But following some opposition to the common core at the local level, Manchester school district officials have decided to develop their own standards in place of the common core, and a draft set of these new standards is due to be presented at a July 8 meeting. As the Union-Leader newspaper reports, the development teams behind the standards actually relied heavily on the common core— for example, the common core is a source for all the proposed math standards for high school.

The district does list a variety of sources that were consulted as the draft Manchester standards were developed, including the new Indiana standards designed to replace the common core; a 2006 joint committee on standards for New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and Virginia standards created in 2011. Here’s an example of where the district has attributed its draft standard for high school English/language arts to more than one source:

There are some changes like the addition in 3rd grade language arts that a student write “legibly in cursive,” as well as a new requirement for students to demonstrate a progression in phonics from kindergarten through 3rd grade. And the draft also demonstrates how the standards can be put differently into more “friendly language.” For example, the common-core standard in 3rd grade English/language arts calling for students to be able to “distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in contexts (e.g., take steps)” becomes “I can understand figurative language” in the proposed standards.

But in general, the Manchester standards do bear a strong resemblance to the common core.

At the state level, although anti-common core legislation was filed this year in the Granite State, the bill died. In fact, New Hampshire was one of the first states to consider legislation opposing the common standards back in 2011.

One other note—I mentioned near the top that the state assessment naturally puts pressure on districts to simply use the standards adopted by the state board. The Union-Leader points out that while the state initially promised Manchester schools that they would get a waiver from the state test, state K-12 leaders subsequently told the district it wouldn’t be getting such a waiver after all.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Standards Opinion How the Failure of the Common Core Looked From the Ground
Steve Peha shares insights from his on-site professional-development work about why the common core failed, in a guest letter to Rick Hess.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards Opinion Common Core Is a Meal Kit, Not a Nothingburger
Caroline Damon argues Rick Hess and Tom Loveless sold the common core short, claiming the issue was a matter of high-quality implementation.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty
Standards Opinion After All That Commotion, Was the Common Core a Big Nothingburger?
The Common Core State Standards may not have had an impact on student outcomes, but they did make school improvement tougher and more ideological.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty