Mike Kirst Predicts a Drop in Common Core Test Scores

Mike Kirst
January 2015

In an article in the Sacramento Bee, Mike Kirst, president of the State Board of Education, warns that state assessments scores are bound to exhibit an initial dip when the state first administers new Common Core-aligned tests this spring. He contends that the inevitable drop is a result of the demands of the new academic standards. Kirst argues that preparing teachers to teach the standards—especially leading students to deeper levels of conceptual understanding than the rote memorization that prior assessments rewarded—will be critical to improving test scores. Reviewing state assessment scores, Kirst suggests, will help districts see the importance of investing in professional development that helps teachers move towards deeper levels of student understanding. For those disputing the value of the Common Core, Kirst says, “If you want to fight the Common Core you are fighting the colleges, the universities and the SAT.”