A recent report published by the Center for American Progress examines the Common Core Curriculum as a means of addressing education disparities. These disparities traditionally have been a challenge for students of color, poor students, disabled students, and English language learning students. Key findings from the report regarding the disadvantages these students face are as follows:
- Only 29% of schools with high percentages of Black and Latino population offer calculus; whereas 55% of schools with a minority population of Black and Latino students offer calculus
- 22% of teachers in schools where the majority of students are of color have fewer than 3 years of teaching, compared to 13% of teachers in schools where most students are white
- While 83% of white students graduated from high school in 2009-2010, only 66% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 69% of Native Americans graduated from high school in that same school year.
The report explains that the Common Core Curriculum could effectively address this problem because the Common Core standards are designed to effectively engage students in learning, which is a missing element for many students who are typically disadvantaged. This is achieved by delving more deeply into content areas of learning, centering lessons on project-based learning, and encouraging group work to solve complex problems. Student progress is assessed uniformly and periodically.
Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School