Laura H. Chapman is a frequent contributor to the blog and a curriculum consultant in the arts.

Shortly after releasing the Standards with much publicity about international benchmarking, the CCSSO helped to fund a study that shows the Standards are not, in fact, closely aligned with the standards of nations that score higher on international tests.
In mathematics, for example, the nations with the highest test scores—Finland, Japan, and Singapore—devote about 75% of instruction to “perform procedures” compared to the CCSS emphasis at about 38%.

These same nations give almost no attention to “solve non-routine problems” compared to the CCSS.

In ELA, countries that score at the highest level also have patterns of emphasis in different grade spans that differ substantially from the CCSS, with a greater emphasis overall on “perform procedures” than in the CCSS.

The big surprise is that a significant part of “perform procedures” in mathematics and ELA is following directions and completing highly conventional assignments, free of elaborated analysis and generalization.

In other words, compliance with the conventions of schooling has a strong association with higher test scores. Wowzie. Who would have guessed that learning to follow directions mattered so much?

Note also that the former president of the American Educational Research Association, Andrew Porter, was among others who did this study and made the connection of the CCSS to the “new US intended curriculum. See: Porter, A.; McMaken ,J.; Hwang, J. ; & Yang, R. (2011). Common core standards: The new U.S. intended curriculum. Educational Researcher, 40(3). 103-116. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X11405038