Review of the Draft K-12 Common Core Standards

The Fordham Institute's expert reviewers have analyzed the draft Common Core K-12 education standards (made public on March 10) according to rigorous criteria. Their analyses lead to a grade of A- for the draft mathematics standards and B for those in English language arts.


Our reviewers:

Sheila Byrd Carmichael served as reviewer for English language arts. Ms. Carmichael is an education consultant based in Washington, D.C., who has taught English in the District of Columbia Public Schools and in Italy and Japan. She was the founding director of the American Diploma Project and is the former deputy executive director of the California Academic Standards Commission. She is the co-author of Stars by Which to Navigate? Scanning National and International Education Standards (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2009), of Why We're Behind: What Top Nations Teach Their Students But We Don't (Common Core, 2008) and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate: Do They Deserve Gold Star Status? (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2007). In addition, Sheila has also served as an external reviewer of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards for the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State Schools Officers.

W. Stephen Wilson served as co-reviewer for mathematics. Dr. Wilson is Professor of Mathematics at the Johns Hopkins University where he has chaired the Department of Mathematics. In 2006, he was the Advisor for Mathematics in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Wilson also helped revise Washington State’s K-12 mathematics standards and evaluated textbooks for the state. He has participated in numerous projects on standards, curricula, and textbooks and co-authored Stars by Which to Navigate? Scanning National and International Education Standards (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2009) and The State of State Math Standards (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2005). More recently, he reviewed drafts of the Common Core Mathematics Standards for the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Dr. Wilson received his Ph.D. in mathematics from M.I.T. in 1972 and has published over sixty mathematics research papers in the field of algebraic topology.

Gabrielle Martino served as co-reviewer for mathematics. Dr. Martino has worked as an adjunct instructor in mathematics and as a writer and consultant. Her projects have included developing elementary hands-on science curricula, developing science content for a radio show airing on National Public Radio, and reviewing the mathematics content delivery system for Shepherdstown University. In 2009 she coauthored a report for the Abell Foundation entitled “Doing the Math” about the relationship between high school mathematics curricula and college expectations in Maryland. Dr. Martino is also the author of a forthcoming paper, “Notes on Providing a Formal Definition of Equivalence,” which will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Anthropological Theory. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University.