Trending Topic Research File: Common Core State Standards
Trending Topic Research File: Common Core State Standards
Common Core State Standards

Trending Topic Research File 

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), released in 2010 for English language arts and mathematics, have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. In recent years, AERA’s journals have examined many aspects of the Common Core, including:

  • Differences between CCSS and previous standards
  • Whether CCSS represents an improvement
  • Underlying assumptions of CCSS
  • Process of the CCSS’ adoption

The following compendium of open-access articles are inclusive of all substantive AERA journal content regarding the Common Core published since 2009. This page will be updated as new articles are published. 

AERA Journal Articles

Note: Articles are listed below in reverse chronological order of publication. 

Alignment Between Children’s Numeracy Performance, the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and State-Level Early Learning Standards
Ellen C. Litkowski, Robert J. Duncan, Jessica A. R. Logan, David J. Purpura
AERA Open, November 2020.
Results of this study demonstrated that the majority of children were already successfully meeting the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics for both cardinal number knowledge tasks (86.5% and 53.3%, respectively) prior to kindergarten entry but that only 18.9% of the children were meeting the standard for verbal counting.

Developing Ambitious Mathematics Instruction Through Web-Based Coaching: A Randomized Field Trial
Matthew A. Kraft, Heather C. Hill
American Educational Research Journal, May 2020.
Researchers found sizable and sustained effects of a web-based coaching program designed to support teachers in implementing Common Core–aligned math instruction both on teachers’ ability to analyze instruction and on their instructional practice.

From Interpretation to Instructional Practice: A Network Study of Early-Career Teachers’ Sensemaking in the Era of Accountability Pressures and Common Core State Standards
Kenneth A. Frank, Jihyun Kim, Serena J. Salloum, Kristen N. Bieda, Peter Youngs
American Educational Research Journal, April 2020.
Researchers found that early-career teachers increase their ambitious mathematics instruction when their network members positively interpret accountability pressures and curricular standards as manifest in standardized tests and evaluation.

Day by Day: Investigating Variation in Elementary Mathematics Instruction That Supports the Common Core
Jonathan D. Schweig, Julia H. Kaufman, V. Darleen Opfer
Educational Researcher, March 2020.
Researchers found that there are substantial fluctuations both in students’ engagement in standards-aligned mathematical practices and in reported cognitive demand from day to day, as well as large differences across teachers.

Teaching Critically Where Rural and Nonrural Cultures Intersect
Jennifer T. Stephens
American Educational Research Journal, April 2019.
The results of the study indicate a need for a critical rurban pedagogy that merges a critical pedagogy of place with local values and the complexities of rurban culture to serve as a foundation from which to build culturally relevant curricula.

“Common” Instruction? Logics of Ability and Teacher Decision Making Across Tracks in the Era of Common Standards
Emily M. Hodge
American Educational Research Journal, October 2018.
The study found that despite common standards, a tracked school structure continues to serve as a powerful signal about the curriculum and instruction seen as appropriate for different groups of students.

Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy and Next Generation Science Standards: Convergences and Discrepancies Using Argument as an Example
Okhee Lee
Educational Researcher, March 2017.
The study found that what counts as argument (i.e., disciplinary norms) and when argument is expected developmentally and whether children are capable of engaging in argument (i.e., developmental progressions) differ substantially and often contradict.

Is Common Core “Working”? And Where Does Common Core Research Go From Here?
Morgan S. Polikoff
AERA Open, February 2017.
This study discusses the state of the literature on whether and how the standards are working and offers suggestions for future work.

Using Theory and Measurement to Sharpen Conceptualizations of Mathematics Teaching in the Common Core Era
Mary Kay Stein, Richard Correnti, Debra Moore, Jennifer Lin Russell, Katelynn Kelly
AERA Open, January 2017.
Study authors argue that large-scale, standards-based improvements in the teaching and learning of mathematics necessitate advances in our theories regarding how teaching affects student learning and progress in how we measure instruction.

(Un)Commonly Connected: A Social Network Analysis of State Standards Resources for English/Language Arts
Emily M. Hodge, Serena J. Salloum, Susanna L. Benko
AERA Open, November 2017.
This article examines the results of two quasi-experimental studies of the implementation and impact of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), an intervention designed to support secondary teachers' transition to Common Core State Standars in Enlish language arts.

Supporting Common Core Instruction With Literacy Design Collaborative: A Tale of Two Studies
Joan Herman, Scott Epstein, Seth Leon
AERA Open, July 2017.
This article examines the results of two quasi-experimental studies of the implementation and impact of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), an intervention designed to support secondary teachers' transition to Common Core State Standars in Enlish language arts.

How Well Aligned Are Textbooks to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics?
Morgan S. Polikoff
American Educational Research Journal, December 2015.
In the first analysis to investigate claims of alignment in the context of fourth-grade mathematics using tools capable of estimating the alignment of curriculum materials with the standards, results indicate areas of misalignment; including that the textbooks studied systematically overemphasize procedures and memorization relative to the standards, among other weaknesses.

Accountability Pressure, Academic Standards, and Educational Triage
Douglas Lee Lauen, S. Michael Gaddis
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, September 2015.
Using data from students in North Carolina, researchers found that as the rigor of state standards increased, test score gaps between low and high achievers and students near grade level also increased.

Organized Interests and the Common Core
Lorraine M. McDonnell, M. Stephen Weatherford
Educational Researcher, December 2013.
Drawing on theories of political and policy learning and interviews with major participants in the diverse array of interest groups supporting the Common Core, this article examines the role these groups have played in development and implementation of CCSS. 

Challenging the Research Base of the Common Core State Standards: A Historical Reanalysis of Text Complexity
David A. Gamson, Xiaoofei Lu, Sarah Anne Eckert 
Educational Researcher, October 2013.
Researchers find that contrary to the authors of the English Language Arts component of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – which builds a case for higher complexity in textbooks and reading materials for students by pointing to research showing a steady decline in the difficulty of student textbooks over the past 50 years – text complexity actually has either risen or stabilized over this time.

Science and Language for English Language Learners in Relation to Next Generation Science Standards and with Implications for Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics
Okhee Lee, Helen Quinn, Guadalupe Valdés
Educational Researcher, May 2013.
Addressing the language demands and opportunities embedded in the science and engineering practices in the National Research Council’s “Framework for K-12 Science Education,” the authors also highlight implications for CCSS for English language arts and Mathematics.

The Common Core State Standards’ Quantitative Text Complexity Trajectory: Figuring Out How Much Complexity Is Enough
Gary L. Williamson, Jill Fitzgerald, A. Jackson Stenner
Educational Researcher, March 2013.
The authors propose a two-part analytical strategy for decision making surrounding the quantitative trajectory standard, the CCSS’s aim for all high school graduates to be able to independently read complex college and workplace texts through quantitative trajectory for text complexity exposure.

Upping the Ante of Text Complexity in the Common Core State Standards: Examining Its Potential Impact on Young Readers
Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Heidi Anne E. Mesmer
Educational Researcher, January/February 2013.
Researchers examine the theoretical and empirical support for assumptions underlying the CCSS’s acceleration of text complexity in grades 2-3 and identify patterns in American reading achievement and instruction in order to illustrate the consequences of an increase in the first step of the CCSS staircase of text complexity levels.

Curricular Coherence and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
William H. Schmidt, Richard T. Houang 
Educational Researcher, November 2012.
Exploring the relationship of the CCSS in Mathematics (CCSSM) to student achievement, these researchers found a high degree of similarity between CCSSM and standards of the highest-achieving nations on the 1995 Third International Mathematics and Science Study and that states with standards more like CCSSM have higher 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress scores on average.

Assessing the Quality of Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
Paul Cobb, Kara Jackson
Educational Researcher, May 2011.
Commenting on “Common Core Standards: The New U.S. Intended Curriculum,” the authors whether the CCSS are an improvement over most state mathematics standards and question whether schools and districts have the capacity to support effective implementation.

Assessing the Common Core Standards: Opportunities for Improving Measures of Instruction
Andrew Porter, Jennifer McKaken, Jun Hwang, Rui Yang
Educational Researcher, May 2011.
Responding to comments on their “Common Core Standards: The New U.S. Intended Curriculum,” the authors suggest additional perspective that should be considered when addressing quality and change, stating additional conceptualizations of mathematics and English language arts content as well as how to define and measure alignment among content standards, materials, assessments, and instruction should be explored.

Issues in Analyzing Alignment of Language Arts Common Core Standards With State Standards
Richard W. Beach
Educational Researcher, May 2011.
A commentary on “Common Core Standards: The New U.S. Intended Curriculum,” the author offers possibly reasons for the lack of focus found in the CCSS.

Common Core Standards: The New U.S. Intended Curriculum
Andrew Porter, Jennifer McKaken, Jun Hwang, Rui Yang
Educational Researcher, April 2011.
This article compares the Common Core with then-current state standards and assessments, standards in top-preforming countries, and teachers’ descriptions of their own practices.

Is There a de Facto National Intended Curriculum? Evidence from State Content Standards
Andrew Porter, Morgan Polikoff, John Smithson
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, September 2009.
This analysis found considerable variability among states’ content standards, but that a small core curriculum exists across states in the content areas of English language arts and reading, science, and mathematics.

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