Mass. Education Standards Vs. Common Core: 'Too Close To Call'

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A new report expresses ambivalence on whether national Common Core standards are stronger or weaker than Massachusetts current educational standards.

On Wednesday morning, the Massachusetts Board of Primary and Secondary Education meets to decide whether to adopt those national standards. Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester backs the move.

"I'm bringing this recommendation to the state board with a sense of confidence that by adopting the Common Core, we are not diluting, we are not taking a step backward," Chester said. "In fact, what we are doing is adopting a set of standards that are in a way stronger than our own standards."

But critics like Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker say that by giving up its own standards, the state would be jeopardizing its position as a leader in education.

"We control our own destiny, and after years of struggling to develop rigorous standards and developing testing and making it a graduation requirement, we decide what's best for our kids," Baker said.

The report, "The State Of State Standards," says it's "too close to call" whether Massachusetts' education standards in math and English are stronger than those of the Common Core.

Chester Finn, the president of the Fordham Institute, which published the study, joined WBUR's Morning Edition to talk about the study.

See the Massachusetts portion of the study on Scribd.

This program aired on July 21, 2010.


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