21 pages, 8.1 MB


The final version of the Common Core standards was released in June 2010. Also released at the same time was a report containing the signatures of 24 members of the Common Core Validation Committee, a committee appointed in the summer of 2009 to review the various drafts of the standards and to assure the public that the standards in mathematics and English language arts were research-based, rigorous, and internationally competitive.

The report, however, did not make it clear that the Validation Committee consisted of 29 members and that five of its original members did not sign a form attesting that Common Core’s standards were comparable in rigor to the standards of the highest-performing countries in the world. Two Validation Committee members who did sign off later attempted to provide evidence to support their sign-offs. But their research was poorly executed and failed to provide evidence to sustain their claim that Common Core’s standards were internationally competitive and could prepare American high school students for college-level work. Moreover, other studies of the standards since their release have raised concerns about their rigor.

As the situation now stands, Common Core’s standards remain unvalidated despite the fact that over 46 states adopted them on the basis of a promise on their Race to the Top (RttT) applications in 2010 that they would be internationally benchmarked and, hence, rigorous. As outlined in the RttT applications, these standards were supposed to be “supported by evidence that they are internationally benchmarked.” But they were not. This paper explains the problems in the post facto studies that sought to validate Common Core’s standards and the concerns raised by the other studies.