State education leader Michael Kirst expects initial test score decline under Common Core

January 13, 2015

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.

He said, however, he expects scores to rise in subsequent years as teachers and students are more prepared. He urged patience and believes it will take until about 2019 before the success of the new standards can truly be determined.

The new Common Core educational standards mean “students can no longer get by with memorizing the rules and not understanding the concepts,” he said. “Our goal is to make it teachable.”