Stars by Which To Navigate?View Best in Class
Fordham has been reviewing state content standards in core subject areas (English language arts, math, science, history) for more than a decade. But as America moves in the direction of common, multi-state, or national standards, and as state officials (and â€œCommon Coreâ€ drafters) seek to benchmark, model, or justify their work on the basis of extant national and international standards and tests, it was necessary to go farther, to determine, in effect, whether the models deserve to be emulated. So we replicated at the national/international level the methods we have previously used to evaluate state standards.
That meant relying once again on content experts. This time, we tapped four well-known mathematics and English language arts authorities, all of whom have worked with us in the past and have substantial experience working in the state standards arena. Two served as lead reviewers; the other two judiciously responded to their work.
We asked the reviewers, based on the best current thinking about their disciplineâ€”and a modest but growing evidence base around what students need to know and be able to do in order to be prepared for college, work, and democratic citizenshipâ€”to devise a set of content expectations for students at grades four, eight, and twelve (as well as age fifteen). These are the grade levels (and ages) at which NAEP, PISA, and TIMSS are administered. We encouraged them to consider the most important elements of content that standards should cover. In other words, we asked them to set forth a minimal set of crucial content expectations, not to dump into the sink every stray fork and teacup in their fields. Multiple drafts were exchanged and revised before the content criteria were finalized.
To facilitate apples-to-apples comparisons, we developed a common grading metric upon which all standards could be measured. In other words, reviewers would assess the various standards and tests according to content-specific criteria, but would need to render a bottom line grade based on a standardized scoring system. This meant that a â€œBâ€ in mathematics would need to mean the same thing as a â€œBâ€ in English language arts.
Read moreABOUT THIS REPORT
Our review ofthe NAEP Framework
Our review ofState Standards