Final Common Core Standards Support Opportunity Equation’s Recommendations for Fewer, Higher, Clearer Standards

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New York, NY, June 2, 2010--The Opportunity Equation, an initiative of Carnegie Corporation of New York-Institute for Advanced Study (Carnegie-IAS), commends the release of the Common Core as a critical step in mobilizing for equity and excellence in education so that all students—not just a select few—achieve much higher levels of learning to prepare them for rigorous college courses and for careers in a rapidly changing global economy.

The Common Core is addressed directly in the recommendations issued by the Carnegie-IAS Commission of Mathematics and Science Education in its June, 2009 report The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy. The Opportunity Equation initiative was created to mobilize action towards the recommendations of the Commission and has worked diligently over the last year to ensure that audiences such as policy makers and educators understand the importance of creating more academically rigorous common standards defining what education should look like for every student in all states.

The Opportunity Equation report’s first recommendation is to “[e]stablish common math and science standards that are fewer, clearer, and higher and that stimulate and guide instructional improvement and galvanize the nation to pursue meaningful math and science learning for all Americans.” 

“The release of the Common Core represents a bold step by leaders of many states towards meeting the dual demands of equity and excellence in the quality of our nation’s schools,” said Michele Cahill, co-chair of the Opportunity Equation and vice president for National Programs, Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This important accomplishment builds a stronger foundation for learning of both content and higher level skills. Also by bringing coherence to academic standards, the Common Core sets an important stage for unleashing innovation in instructional practices to bring all of our students to new, higher levels of mathematics and literacy achievement.  

“A notable accomplishment, the release of the Common Core is a first step in a larger effort,” added Cahill.

Moving forward, Carnegie will work closely with Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to assist states with adoption of the Common Core.  Carnegie will support CCSSO in working with sister state policy organizations to develop a survey, and conduct formal and informal analysis with states to assess state needs and determine steps to seeing Common Core standards through adoption to implementation.

As a next step, Opportunity Equation encourages the development of sophisticated assessments and accountability mechanisms, which are the essential counterpart to fewer, clearer, and higher standards.  The assessment building process will require the participation of educators; governors and states; business, union, and nonprofit organizations; and the philanthropic community.

“When we released The Opportunity Equation, we seized on a moment of urgency and opportunity to close the gap between the current state of educational achievement and the educational system we need,” said Phillip Griffiths, co-chair of Opportunity Equation and professor emeritus of Mathematics and former director, Institute for Advanced Study. “The creation of the Common Core is a response to the challenge of closing that gap through a purposeful and innovative design process carried out by the states and their national partners.”

About the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to do "real and permanent good in this world." In education, the Corporation works to create pathways to opportunity for many more students by promoting systemic change and innovation in secondary and higher education.

About the Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities – the original, often speculative, thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a permanent Faculty of 29, and it offers all who work there the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute. The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 7,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Some 22 Nobel Laureates and 34 out of 48 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf or MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.