Magazine article District Administration

Report: Common Core Assignments Not Up to Par

Magazine article District Administration

Report: Common Core Assignments Not Up to Par

Article excerpt

It's been five years since many states adopted more rigorous college and career readiness standards, but most classroom assignments do not meet the high bar that was established, according to a September report from The Education Trust.

"Some people say that just by implementing Common Core and other new learning standards we will get to higher-order thinking, and frankly, we did not see that," says Sonja Brookins Santelises, vice president of K12 policy and practice at The Education Trust. "It has to be intentional."

In the report, "Checking in: Do classroom assignments reflect today's higher standards?" researchers analyzed assignments from 92 teachers from six urban middle schools. They examined nearly 1,600 in- and out-of-school lessons students completed independently or in groups.

Only 38 percent of assignments were aligned with a grade-appropriate standard. Rates in high-poverty schools were considerably lower, at roughly one-third of all assignments, the report states.

Too often, educators in schools with large numbers of low-income students do not expect their students to achieve even at grade level, says Santelises, lead author of the report. "When you have kids with ground to gain, we should not keep them tethered to low-level skills, instead of things that will help them transition."

Lack of rigor

The Common Core recommends literacy lessons that engage students in critical thinking skills and close reading of different types of texts.

Fifty-five percent of assignments analyzed by the report were connected to a text. …

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