Questions to Understand the Common Core. Please help me figure this out

Asked September 10, 2015, 1:02 PM EDT

I've been trying to understand a few things about the Common Core. I've been researching but can't find answers to these questions.
1. What are consequences to students who fail the test?
2. I read somewhere that states can alter the standards What is the point of setting standards to centralize education if states can have different standards?

Outside United States education

1 Response

Thank you for your questions! Each US state has been given the option to "opt in" to the Common Core State Standards or keep their previous standards. For more info about how the Common Core was developed and what it includes, see: http://www.corestandards.org/

Regarding your specific questions:
1) Right now, each state that has opted in can choose from one of two standardized assessments to measure student progress with Common Core--PARCC or Smarter Balanced. As with previous standardized tests, there are currently no "consequences" for student failure--the tests are just a measure of progress toward college and career readiness. Students who score very low in a particular area will be targeted for remedial support. At this time, test scores are not being used as pass/fail or "exit" exams from high school but may be used that way in the future. Currently, though, the scores can be used by colleges and universities for new student placement. For example, if a high school senior scored very low in math skills, s/he might be placed in a remedial non-credit math class his/her freshman year of college before being allowed to enroll in a credit-bearing class. For more information about the two exams, check out: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/ and http://www.parcconline.org/

2) States who adopt the Common Core State Standards can choose to change, delete, or focus on specific standards within the set. However, the standardized assessments being developed and used are based upon the complete Common Core--so states that change their Standards may see an impact in their students' scores on those tests.

I hope this information helps! For any more detailed information about the Common Core State Standards and how they are being implemented, you would probably want to speak with a specific state's education association since each state is responsible for deciding how the Standards will be implemented and how students in that state will be assessed. Since the adoptions of the Standards and new assessments are still very new, there is much that continues to change year to year.