Stotsky is Professor Emerita of the University of Arkansas, former Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, and a member of NAS's Board of Trustees. She recalls her time spent on the Common Core Validation Committee in 2009-2010. Though the Common Core Standards are meant to be a measure of reform for American elementary and high schools, there is still much debate about what students need to learn to be prepared to study at the college level. The Common Core Committee Stotsky worked with was advocating for what she saw to be counterproductive changes in English and Language Arts curricula. The standards proposed would encourage teachers to focus on reading and writing for information. Stotsky, on the other hand, says students would gain a wider base of knowledge if they were assigned more complex literary texts, published before the 1970's, with richer sentence structures and vocabulary.