Very Little Evidence for Common Core

Member Group : Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

According to proponents, Common Core Standards and the "modified" PA Core Standards will improve the quality of our students’ education. We have noted previously that this is not the case. Additional evidence is now available to back up the assertion that Common Core does not deliver.

George Washington University put together a compendium of sixty research papers covering a variety of topics related to Common Core. Of the sixty papers, only two focus on what impact Common Core has on test scores. An article on NRO summarizes the findings:

"…Both papers employ the dubious correlation-across-states methodology, and both give mixed results at best.

"The first paper, by two Michigan State professors, examines the relationship between states’ math scores in 2009 and the similarity of their math standards (pre-Common Core) to the Common Core math standards. The authors initially find no correlation in the 50-state universe. They are able to detect a positive relationship only with an ex post division of states into two separate groups, with the smaller group consisting of 13 states with low scores despite strong standards. The authors acknowledge that ‘these analyses should be viewed only as exploratory in nature, merely suggesting the possibility of a relationship.’

"The second paper, published by Brookings, follows up on the Michigan State analysis. It finds that states’ test score gains between 2009 and 2012 show no relationship to the similarity of their standards to Common Core. There was no positive correlation even when using the favorable groupings from the Michigan State paper. The one encouraging finding in the Brookings paper is that states with stronger implementation of Common Core seem to show greater gains. But the author warns that, even if the correlation is genuine, the effect size is tiny." (Emphasis added.)

Common Core implementation in Pennsylvania will cost an estimated $645 million. If taxpayers are spending that kind of money on something wouldn’t it be nice if it actually worked?

If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to stop Common Core in Pennsylvania visit

Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.