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Out of Sync – Common Core States Struggle to Confer Common Core Diplomas

Monday, July 29, 2013 -- Ashlee Tatum-Eckley

We've been saying for some time that while the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are simple in their concept, the implementation can be problematic. A new study from Change the Equation and the National School Boards Association's Center for Public Education confirms the challenges that states are encountering in fully implementing a Common Core-worthy diploma.

The report, titled Out of Sync, laments that most of the states that have adopted the Common Core standards “do not require high school graduates to complete the math classes that typically cover the content described in the new standards.” In other words, “Until states and districts re-examine their graduation policies, a high school diploma will not necessarily signify college- and career-readiness as envisioned by the Common Core.”

According to the report, only 11 Common Core states meet the report's definition of alignment when it comes to graduation requirements. What the report reveals is not so much a failure on the part of states that have adopted Common Core as the ongoing challenges of implementing the standards, especially implementing them in a holistic and comprehensive way that is reflected not just in the objectives that are taught, but is also reflected in the diplomas that are issued.

Out of Sync is a reminder that states and districts need to identify reliable and experienced Common Core resources whom they can trust and with whom they can follow a clear path to implementation success.

The lesson to be learned from the report isn't that Common Core is impossible to implement, but that successful implementation is the result of committed partnerships that combine expertise and persistence.