tc columbia

Developmental Education Aligned to the Common Core State Standards: Insights and Illustrations

By: Elisabeth A. Barnett & Maria Scott Cormier


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), implemented in 44 states and the District of Columbia, are pegged to a set of college and career readiness standards, creating a potential opportunity to improve the alignment between the secondary and postsecondary sectors. In the current exploratory study, the authors draw on interview data to examine whether faculty and college leaders are considering or undertaking reforms of developmental education informed by the CCSS.

The study reveals a spectrum of awareness about, and interest in, incorporating the CCSS into developmental education. The authors identify some states and localities that were taking the CCSS into account when developing or changing their developmental education curricula. In some states, this was done widely due to state policy requirements; in other settings, this work has been driven by individual faculty interests and concerns. However, interviewees indicated that most college stakeholders do not know about the CCSS or believe that the standards have implications for postsecondary practice.