Alison Yin for EdSource
The Common Core State Standards in English language arts stress literacy skills across all subject areas.

Math and English Language Arts and literacy standards remain strong in California and 23 other states that have reviewed and revised them since adopting the Common Core standards, according to a report by the nonprofit Achieve.

The report, Strong Standards: A Review of Changes to State Standards Since the Common Core, found California and most of the other states studied maintained rigorous standards and expectations aimed at graduating students who are college- and career-ready after high school.

“The effect of the Common Core is clear – the state standards we reviewed, while unique to each state, and with few exceptions – incorporate the evidence-based characteristics of high quality standards on which the Common Core was designed,” said Mike Cohen, president of Achieve.

Achieve is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization that works with states to improve academic standards, graduation requirements, testing, and accountability.

Forty-five states adopted the Common Core standards soon after they were developed in 2010. However, two dozen have reviewed and in some cases revised them since then, including California, which added English Language Development standards for English learners to its English Language Arts standards.

Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, has placed the authority with the states for mandating standards, Achieve decided to evaluate standards aimed at making students college and career-ready based on education research and quality indicators developed by Achieve.

“Maintaining overall strength and quality is a testament to the courage and dedication of state education leaders and the educators in each state who were involved in the development of their new state standards,” Cohen said.

The report found that in California and most of the other states studied, English language arts standards included:

  • “progression of reading and writing skills from grade to grade”
  • key elements required “to prepare students for citizenship, college, and career”

In math, the report found that California and the other states reviewed “kept their math standards focused: and did not revert to standards that were “a mile wide and an inch deep.” In addition, California and most of the other states maintained:

  • a K-5 emphasis on arithmetic
  • middle school concepts that provide a foundation for the advanced study of functions, geometry, and statistics in high school
  • a balance of K-8 standards focused on procedural skills, conceptual understanding, and the application of math in real-world problems
  • a high school emphasis on statistics and mathematical modeling
  • K-12 mathematical practice standards.

The full report is here.

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