The Common Core Promise: Executive Summary
The National Urban Research Group conducted a baseline evaluation of New York City’s large- scale implementation of Common Core Learning Standards (Common Core). As an early adopter, New York State is the second, only behind Kentucky, to administer standardized grade-level assessments aligned to the Common Core. On August 7, 2013, the New York State Education Department released the results from the first mathematical standardized test explicitly aligned to the Common Core expectations for “college-and career readiness.” The data from the test revealed that New York City math proficient rates dwindled. Education Department officials quickly advised that, the decline in proficiency rates “did not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a rising of standards.” In other words, the Common Core effectively created “a new baseline of student learning.” Due to the controversy over declining student test scores, noteworthy Common Core math proficiency gaps received less attention. The National Urban Research Group utilizes data from 198,556 students in New York City Public Middle Schools who were administered the Common Core math assessment to address the following questions:
- To what extent, if any, were Common Core math proficiency gaps attributable to ! differences between racial and ethnic subgroups?
- To what extent, if any, were Common Core proficiency gaps attributable to differences in the racial composition of an individual school?
- To what extent, if any, were Common Core math proficiency gaps attributable to differences within the five boroughs of New York City?
- To what extent, if any, were Common Core math proficiency gaps attributable to variations in Community School Districts?
- To what extent, if any, were Common Core proficiency gaps attributable to differences between traditional and charter middle schools?