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The State of State Standards Post-Common Core

Eight years ago, we compared states’ English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards to what were then the newly-minted Common Core State Standards. That report found that the Common Core was clearer and more rigorous than the ELA standards in thirty-seven states and stronger than the math standards in thirty-nine states.

While many states have, to varying degrees, revised their standards since 2010, the questions that should concern policymakers and the public haven’t changed: Are states’ ELA and math standards of sufficient quality and rigor to drive effective instruction? And if not, how might they be improved?

David Griffith, Victoria McDougald, Solomon Friedberg, Diane Barone, Juliana Belding, Andrew Chen, Linda Dixon 8.22.2018
NationalReport
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Remediation in Higher Education: A Symposium

Is remediation in additional-topics providing a valuable service to society? Or does it amount to paying for someone's education twice? Read competing views of the issue in this rare Fordham look at the higher-education system.

Robert M. Costrell, David H. Ponitz, Laurence Steinberg, David W. Breneman, William N. Haarlow 7.1.1998
NationalReport
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The State of State Standards (1998)

Three Fordham staff members analyze trends spotted in academic standards across the disciplines. They found that too many state standards are vague, anti-knowledge, entranced with 'relevance,' and focused on teaching rather than learning.

Michael J. Petrilli, Chester E. Finn, Jr., Gregg Vanourek 7.1.1998
NationalReport
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The Tracking and Ability Grouping Debate

Tracking and ability grouping strategies differ widely from school to school. They diverge even more widely from their portrayal in the popular criticisms of the 1980s. This report digs into the sensitive matter of whether those criticisms are valid today. The answer tells a more complicated and more honest story than we have heard before on this topic.

Tom Loveless 7.1.1998
NationalReport
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State Math Standards

In this review of state math standards, authors Raimi and Braden found a disturbing lack of 'mathematical reasoning' in most of the 47 state standards they examined; only three states earned 'A's' while 16 states flunked.

Ralph A. Raimi, Lawrence Braden 3.1.1998
NationalReport
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State Science Standards

This review of state science standards is the final in our series of reports analyzing state standards in the five core content areas. For this review, author Lawrence S. Lerner analyzed the science standards of 36 states and found that state science standards are the strongest of the five disciplines we studied. Based on his analysis, six states earned 'A' grades, seven earned 'B's,' and only nine flunked.

Lawrence S. Lerner 3.1.1998
NationalReport
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State Geography Standards

This is the third in a series of reports on state standards published by the Fordham Foundation and is our first-ever look at state standards for geography. Authors Susan Munroe and Terry Smith found reason for hope in a few of the excellent standards they found (like Colorado's), but most of the documents they analyzed were extremely weak; only six states earned 'A's' or 'B's,' while 18 states failed.

Terry Smith, Susan Munroe 2.1.1998
NationalReport
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State History Standards

The second in a series of evaluations of state standards, this is our first review of state history standards. In his analysis, author David W. Saxe offers a scathing indictment of state history standards, which he judged to be little better than the oft-ridiculed National History Standards; four earned 'A's' or 'B's,' while 19 states flunked.

David W. Saxe 2.1.1998
NationalReport
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State English Standards

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, the eminent authority on English language education, led off a Fordham series of standards reviews with a detailed critique of the English/Language Arts standards of 28 states. Massachusetts' were found to be the strongest, a beacon for other states to emulate.

Sandra Stotsky 7.1.1997
NationalReport