Though California has embraced new Common Core State Standards so far, parents and educators may feel differently once students produce lower test scores later this year, said Michael Kirst, president of the state Board of Education.
Kirst expects an immediate dip in test scores as students take Common Core tests for this first time this spring, he said in a wide-ranging discussion with The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board. That has occurred in other states, such as New York, where a backlash ensued when Common Core test results were lower than expected.
The 2015 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings were released this week and record number of CEPA faculty scores high marks on the list. Of the 200 education scholars ranked, 11 CEPA affiliate faculty and faculty made the list: Eric Hanushek (15), Martin Carnoy (24), Michael W. Kirst (31), Caroline Hoxby (33), Susanna Loeb (51), Sean Reardon (62), Rob Reich (94), Thomas Dee (119), Mitchell Stevens (127), Edward H. Haertel (154), Eric Bettinger (161)
We have come a long way since the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in 2010. The transition requires comprehensive policy changes. Policy changes thus far have helped streamline systems that were outdated or out of sync with how 21st century school systems should operate.
In addition to Common Core standards in English language arts and math, we have adopted new English language development standards and an implementation plan. We have also adopted the Next Generation Science Standards to improve science education and to better prepare and engage students in more in-depth science, computing and engineering courses. Our goal is to ensure that all students graduate prepared for college and careers.
Michael Kirst will mark a half-century in the education policy trenches next year, an anniversary that coincides with major decisions on a landmark school-finance plan he crafted, sold to Gov. Jerry Brown, and now is trying to bring to fruition as president of the California State Board of Education.
Kirst has overseen the process of trying to carry out the Local Control Funding Formula, which revamps the state’s convoluted system of distributing money across its 6.2 million-student school system. But a first draft of regulations was panned by critics and exposed a deep rift about how the formula’s extra money for the neediest students should be allocated.
It is perhaps the worst-kept secret in public education: Too many students leave school with a diploma in their hands, but without the knowledge in their heads they need to start college or pursue a meaningful career.
We pay a steep price for the skills gap. More than 72 percent of our graduating students go to postsecondary institutions, but many are funneled into remedial, non-credit classes. Employers spend time and money training new workers. But it's students who suffer most, finding themselves unprepared for the challenging world outside the classroom. The Common Core State Standards represent a big part of what California — and 44 other states — are doing to address the problem.