New Study Tracks Spending On Common Core

Sep 14, 2016 by

By Bret Jaspers –

The Common Core learning standards have been in place for a few years now. A lot of the news coverage in New York has been about Common Core-aligned tests. But tests are just one piece of the puzzle.

A new national study looks at the money put towards implementation of the Common Core, $4.35 billion from the federal government and also about $330 million from private philanthropy. Where did the money go? WSKG’s Bret Jaspers talked to Mindy Kornhaber from Penn State, one of the authors of the study. Click the player to hear the edited interview.

Interview highlights:

On the Race to the Top competition:

Kornhaber: Within the Race to the Top guidelines, there were five criteria and two of those relate directly to the Common Core. They called for [the use of] common standards and the use of common assessments for which only the Common Core state standards really were available.

On how the money was spent:

Kornhaber: Well, different states used it to get their systems aligned to the Common Core. So they used it in part to get data systems that could track how well kids were doing. They used it in New York State specifically to develop curriculum modules. [They used it] to help districts in some states get access to better professional development that would enable teachers to teach to the new standards and things like that.

On why she likens it to the Gold Rush:

Kornhaber: For the Common Core, teachers and districts and states were asked to mine for better student achievement and to do that, they would need a lot of equipment. They’d need new computers, they’d new data systems, they’d need new curriculum materials, etc. But as in the case of the Gold Rush, most people who went mining in search of gold did not come up with gold.

Jaspers: So you’re saying that despite all of this money being spent, it’s not necessarily going to yield better results. That’s, kind of, your read on the situation?

Kornhaber: Yes. And that read comes from the fact that prior reforms that are similar to the Common Core also did not boost achievement.

On why the entire reform effort is more than the just the learning standards:

Kornhaber: We need to have a set of standards that help teachers to know what it is that children should know and be able to do. And that’s all well and good. But the Common Core isn’t only about putting out standards. We have to be very careful that the standards themselves don’t represent the reform as a whole. The reform as a whole includes the standards and includes aligning many other things to the standards including tests and consequences for teachers.

Source: New Study Tracks Spending On Common Core | WSKG

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