From: The Washington Post
A new report that surveys curriculum nationally and reaches thousands of K-12 and college instructors as well as workplace supervisors and employees has some bad news about the Common Core State Standards: Many people in education and the workplace don’t think some of the English Language Arts and math standards — which are being used in most states — are what students and workers need to be successful in college and career.
The report, issued by ACT Inc., finds:
• There are gaps between some Core standards and what college instructors consider important for students to succeed — especially in the area of writing. For example, middle- and high-school teachers say that they have been emphasizing analyzing source texts and summarizing other authors’ ideas as required by the Core, but college instructors say they value this much less than the “ability to generate sound ideas — a skill applicable across much broader contexts.”
• Many elementary school teachers continue to teach math concepts that are not included in the Core standards for their grades but that they think are important.
• While some teachers have changed their instruction significantly to align with the Core, many haven’t.
• Though the Core standards were designed to prepare students for college and career, the survey found that many workplace supervisors and employees believe skills necessary for success are not part of the Core. Specifically, they say that the No. 1 skill that ensures success is “conscientiousness.”
The 2016 ACT National Curriculum Survey® looks at educational practices and college and career expectations, with results taken from surveys completed by thousands of K-12 teachers and college instructors in English and writing, math, reading, and science. This year, ACT asked workforce supervisors and employees to complete the survey too to see what specifically is being taught in these subjects at each grade level and what material is deemed to be important for college and career readiness.
The Common Core standards were designed to prepare students for successful career and college experiences, but the study shows that there are gaps between vision and reality. In a statement, Marten Roorda, chief executive officer of ACT Inc., said that the study’s conclusions are not intended as a “rebuke” of the Core, but that they “highlight the disconnect between what is emphasized in the Common Core and what some college instructors perceive as important to college readiness.”