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IOWA CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Common Core isn't preparing students for college or the workplace, according to a current study by ACT, an independent, nonprofit organization named after their popular American College Test.
ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda commented, "ACT's findings … highlight the disconnect between what is emphasized in the Common Core and what some college instructors perceive as important to college readiness."
ACT's findings are significant because their data helped inform the development of the Common Core State Standards back in 2009. Their second study to be conducted since that time has just been released, titled the "ACT National Curriculum Study."
The 2016 findings came from a national sample of 9,266 participants, which included elementary, middle school and high school teachers and college instructors in English, writing, math, reading and science as well as workforce supervisors and employees.
The results showed:
College instructors want an increase in students' ability to generate sound ideas, which wasn't developed by Common Core's focus on source-based writing in high school.
Elementary teachers feel the need to supplement math topics omitted in Common Core.
Math teachers in Grades 4–7 routinely introduce topics relevant in STEM coursework (science, technology, engineering and math) which they report is lagging in Common Core.
The fact that teachers believe Common Core is deficient in math is shown by their ongoing attempts at supplementing the curriculum in this area. The study further showed that source material presented by the Common Core curriculum didn't develop the students' ability to think originally or analytically according to college professors. Only 18 percent of college professors surveyed felt students were prepared to distinguish opinion, fact or reasoned judgement.
For the first time, the survey this year included polling of workforce supervisors to see what employers think of students prepared by Common Core.
Results showed a disagreement between Common Core initiatives and workforce professionals. Employers found the program lacking in nonacademic skills such as conscientiousness, problem solving, critical thinking and understanding the ethical use of information. Furthermore, workforce respondents thought the curriculum was lacking in developing speaking and listening skills, as workforce communication relies more heavily on face-to-face than on written communication.