Common Core by the Numbers

>>desksAs part of our ongoing series on North Carolina’s implementation of Common Core, this week Women AdvaNCe is exploring the some of the raw data behind the often-controversial plan. Designed by a national group of researchers and politicians, the Common Core curriculum has been promised to level out the national educational playing field and bring North Carolina’s students in line with the world’s highest academic achievers. Here are a few quick facts about Common Core in the Tarheel State:

  • 45:>> Number of states who have implemented Common Core. Proponents of the plan say that by joining the majority, North Carolina ensures that students will be competitive in the college application process and beyond. Adopting a nationally-used curriculum also means students who transfer districts—such as those in military families—won’t face an educational gap when they move.

  • $27 million: Amount North Carolina has spent training teachers on the Common Core standards >>since its adoption in 2010. Although the standards give teachers a lot of control over what they cover in the classroom, they do prescribe some new methods of instruction and in many cases call for more rigorous study.

  • 44.7%: Percentage of North Carolina students who were considered proficient on end-of-grade tests in 2013. This was a sharp drop from the 79.7% of students who were proficient in the previous year. The state Department of Education says this change was expected.>> According to the DoE, “These more rigorous standards mean that student test scores overall will likely drop in the first year they are given. This is a normal pattern any time a state increases expectations for students, and has happened before in North Carolina when standards were raised.

  • 50 years: Time since North Carolina implemented its first standard curriculum. Although Common Core includes changes, the state has continually updated its course of study since it was implemented. The biggest difference now is that all of the standards are being altered at once instead of. incrementally as before.

  • $400 million: Amount of money given by the federal government to North Carolina in the form>> of Race to the Top Grants. These funds were partially contingent on the state’s implementation of Common Core, although not all of them are earmarked for the program. The RttT program gave states more than $4.35 billion to bolster low-performing districts and reward high performing teachers.

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