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Common Core Revisions: What Are States Really Changing?

By guest blogger Sarah D. Sparks

Twenty-one of the 46 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards are revising the standards, but most are not making substantial changes, according to an analysis by the research firm Abt Associates.

As part of a report for the Massachusetts executive office of education, the group reviewed the types of changes states made to their own common-core-based standards. Eight states so far have repealed or withdrawn the standards, 21 have made changes, and 17 have left the standards as adopted.

In a more in-depth look at nine of the states that made changes--Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, and Utah--the researchers found more than three-quarters of the standards in math or English/language arts were left alone.

Moreover, nearly 70 percent of the changes that were made in either math or language arts across all grades were simply wording or format clarifications to make the standards easier for educators or the public to understand. The states did not change the content or grade level at which the content was presented.

Another 25 percent of the changes added a standard or a concept to an existing math or reading standard. In only 6 percent of the math or reading changes did states delete a standard, and none lessened their rigor.

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