College & Workforce Readiness

The Common-Standards Alignment Rush

By Catherine Gewertz — August 03, 2010 1 min read
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If you had any doubt that publishers would rush to claim that their materials are aligned to the common standards, let us offer you an announcement that is altogether predictable: “Carnegie Learning® Math Curricula Align with Common Core State Standards.” This press release was carried nationwide yesterday by Business Wire. It wasn’t the first, and most certainly won’t be the last announcement of this type that rolls across the transom.

This is just the sort of thing that common-standards advocates are grappling with as they look ahead to the shifts in the marketplace as more states adopt the standards. As I’ve reported on the initiative, many people have raised the question of how states and districts will be able to wade through the sea of claims that materials are aligned to the common core.

Some float the idea of an independent entity that could verify alignment. Others knock that idea down, either out of concern that a “blessing” body could narrow the field too much, or because of inevitable vested interests that could influence the decisions of anyone serving on such a panel. (See my story here, and a blog item here for more bits about this.)

Going without any verifying body, however, runs its own risks, as some common-standards advocates have pointed out. It leaves district and state curriculum outfits to sort through publishers’ representations without guidance or sufficient staffing to devote to a real analysis.

Just yesterday, our own Christopher Swanson just chatted about the effect common standards could exert on the publishing world with the folks at public radio’s “Marketplace.” Take a look or a listen, depending on your learning style.

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