NJ Goes For Common Core

The final draft of the Common Core State Standards are out, and NJ is apparently all over it. Section B, Standards and Assessments, of our Race To The Top application includes the promise that on June 16th the State Board of Education will “vote on a resolution to adopt the Common Core Mathematics and English Language Arts Standards.

According to education scholar Chester Finn, we could do worse:
They’re clearer, better structured, more coherent–and very ambitious. The “text exemplars” (appendix b) are mostly terrific. The “samples of student writing” (appendix c) are helpfully analyzed and annotated. A lot of commendable “content” is tucked in among a well-crafted assemblage of important skills. And while I remain underwhelmed by the research base (appendix a), in the end standards have more to do with judgment than with science….millions of American school-kids would be better served if their states, districts and schools set out in a serious way to impart these skills and content to their pupils rather than the nebulous and flaccid curricular goals that they’re now using.