Instructors of entry-level college courses consider the common standards in mathematics and English/language arts good reflections of the skills students must master to be successful in courses in a range of disciplines, according to a survey released Thursday.
The study, “Reaching the Goal,” aims to verify a key premise of the academic standards that have been adopted by all but five states: that they prepare students for college by defining the skills and knowledge that are crucial to success in entry-level coursework. Although college instructors served on the panels that crafted the standards, the new survey is believed to be the only study to test that premise by putting the question directly to higher-education faculty.
“It suggests strong support for the validity of the common-core
standards, in terms of their applicability to college courses and their
importance, and the appropriate level of challenge for students to be
successful,” said Michael W. Kirst, a professor emeritus of education at
Stanford University who focuses on college-readiness issues and serves
on the board of directors of the research group that produced the
report. “Nobody has cross-checked it with the actual people who teach
these courses, until now.”