5 ways the Common Core isn’t college-ready

New brief urges higher education, states to better align Common Core with higher ed practices

common-core-collegeCommon Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia, are supposed to be the ultimate indicator for a student’s college readiness. But according to a new policy brief, Common Core stops at higher education’s gate, offering little to no benefit for a student’s chances of entering college.

The brief, “Common Core Goes to College: Building better connections between high school and higher education,” by Lindsey Tepe, program associate on the New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program, begins her brief with a powerful metaphor, linking the blunder of Chicago’s underground tunnel to what’s currently happening with the Common Core.

In 1989, after years of planning to connect two ends of one tunnel under Chicago, the two entities, which started building the tunnel at different points, realized that one side came in nine inches too low, and eight inches to the east of the other side’s connector point.

Like the Common Core, explains Tepe, if higher education’s policies don’t better align with K-12’s CCSS implementation, the nation-wide initiative will effectively become a road to nowhere.

“Careful analysis of state policies and practices reveals a higher education landscape riddled with complications and shortcomings for the successful alignment of higher education with the Common Core,” writes Tepe, “…including admissions, financial aid, retesting and course placement, and developmental education.

Also, little evidence suggests that colleges are meaningfully aligning college instruction with the standards, Tepe notes.

(Next page: 5 ways to better align higher education with Common Core)

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