Boy, here is a real shocker, Common Core was a raving success – The bold, italicized highlights are mine and they encapsulate the story as told here but the real story is the one not told here and that is that the outcome is precisely what was intended by our communist leader and the fools who run things on the local level only care about money and not students.
Perhaps most damning is the sentence near the end where most parents actually believe their schools are good to excellent – when the parents that are idiots what do you think you are going to get? The parents care only for money as well and so subject their most “precious possession” to child abuse at the hands of these bastions of idiocy known as public schools.
The saddest part is that it is not like you couldn’t see this coming. That is why I say Common Core is a raving success. The goal was to make kids dumber and it succeeded famously. But reasonable, rational, clear thinking people without and agenda knew it would fail just like “no child left behind” failed because that was their goal even if the stated goal was just the opposite. It’s not like people weren’t sounding the alarm and that is what is so sad, the local school boards, more interested in money than results, and the local populations of parents, more interested in baby sitting than education, ignored the alarms and so they all, as a body, harmed the kids. It really is quite disgusting and quite condemning.
You don’t need be a genius to know that if you spend your time teaching how evil the white man is, how he is responsible for everything wrong with the world, teaching non-subjects like social justice, global warming and generally guilting and scaring kids and teaching to the lowest common denominator, which, as we all know can be pretty low, if your goal is to never make anyone feel bad, except white kids, if the idea is to change the unchangeable human nature than you are doomed to fail from the start and since I am not the only person who knows human nature does not and can not change the creators and adopters of this farce either were intentional or they are just more of what they have produced, idiots. So, sure, many are greedy idiots at the local level but I can assure you that our communist leader at the time was quite intentional and he achieved the desired outcome – you will note that he never sent his own children to any school that adhered to this ridiculous curriculum.
At the end of this article is an article that is more than two years old so, this is not news and should not come as a shock to anyone. What I don’t understand is how we can allow such rampant child abuse when solutions are at hand and relatively simple. Of course, they require acknowledging reality and perhaps that is the problem right there.
By Joy Pullmann
For the third time in a row since Common Core was fully phased in nationwide, U.S. student test scores on the nation’s broadest and most respected test have dropped, a reversal of an upward trend between 1990 and 2015. Further, the class of 2019, the first to experience all four high school years under Common Core, is the worst-prepared for college in 15 years, according to a new report.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a federally mandated test given every other year in reading and mathematics to students in grades four and eight. (Periodically it also tests other subjects and grade levels.) In the latest results, released Wednesday, American students slid yet again on nearly every measure.
Reading was the worst hit, with both fourth and eighth graders losing ground compared to the last year tested, 2017. Eighth graders also slid in math, although fourth graders improved by one point in math overall. Thanks to Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute, here’s a graph showing the score changes since NAEP was instituted in the 1990s.
“Students in the U.S. made significant progress in math and reading achievement on NAEP from 1990 until 2015, when the first major dip in achievement scores occurred,” reported U.S. News and World Report. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2015 is the year states were required by the Obama administration to have fully phased in Common Core.
Common Core is a set of national instruction and testing mandates implemented starting in 2010 without approval from nearly any legislative body and over waves of bipartisan citizen protests. President Obama, his Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, and myriad other self-described education reformers promised Common Core would do exactly the opposite of what has happened: improve U.S. student achievement. As Common Core was moving into schools, 69 percent of school principals said they also thought it would improve student achievement. All of these “experts” were wrong, wrong, wrong.
“The results are, frankly, devastating,” said U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement about the 2019 NAEP results. “This country is in a student achievement crisis, and over the past decade it has continued to worsen, especially for our most vulnerable students. Two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers. In fact, fourth grade reading declined in 17 states and eighth grade reading declined in 31.”
On the same day the NAEP results were released, the college testing organization ACT released a report showing that the high school class of 2019’s college preparedness in English and math is at seniors’ lowest levels in 15 years. These students are the first to have completed all four high school years under Common Core.
“Readiness levels in English, reading, math, and science have all decreased since 2015, with English and math seeing the largest decline,” the report noted. Student achievement declined on ACT’s measures among U.S. students of all races except for Asian-Americans, whose achievement increased.
ACT was one of the myriad organizations that profited from supporting Common Core despite its lack of success for children and taxpayers. Its employees helped develop Common Core and the organization has received millions in taxpayer dollars to help create Common Core tests.
“ACT is one of the best barometers of student progress, and our college-bound kids are doing worse than they have in the ACT’s history,” said Center for Education Reform CEO Jeanne Allen in a statement.
These recent results are not anomalies, but the latest in a repeated series of achievement declines on various measuring sticks since Common Core was enacted. This is the opposite of what we were told would happen with trillions of taxpayer dollars and an entire generation of children who deserve not to have been guinea pigs in a failed national experiment.
Perhaps the top stated goal of Common Core was to increase American kids’ “college and career readiness.” The phrase is so central to Common Core’s branding that it is part of the mandates’ formal title for its English “anchor standards” and appears 60 times in the English requirements alone. Yet all the evidence since Common Core was shoved into schools, just as critics argued, shows that it has at best done nothing to improve students’ “college and career readiness,” and at worst has damaged it.
While of course many factors go into student achievement, it’s very clear from the available information that U.S. teachers and schools worked hard to do what Common Core demanded and that, regardless, their efforts have not yielded good results. A 2016 survey, for example, found “more than three quarters of teachers (76%) reported having changed at least half of their classroom instruction as a result of [Common Core]; almost one fifth (19%) reported having changed almost all of it.”
An October poll of registered voters across the country found 52 percent think their local public schools are “excellent” or “good,” although 55 percent thought the U.S. public school system as a whole is either just “fair” or “poor.” Things are a lot worse on both fronts than most Americans are willing to realize.
Compared to the rest of the world, even the United States’ top school districts only generate average student achievement, according to the Global Report Card. Common Core was touted as the solution to several decades of lackluster student performance like this that have deprived our economy of trillions in economic growth and would lift millions of Americans out of poverty. That was when U.S. test scores, while mediocre and reflecting huge levels of functional illiteracy, were better than they are now.
It is thus still the case, as it was when the Coleman Report was released 53 years ago, that U.S. public schools do not lift children above the conditions of their home lives. They add nothing to what children already do or do not get from at home, when we know from the track record of the distressingly few excellent schools that this is absolutely possible and therefore should be non-negotiably required. But because the people in charge of U.S. education not only neither lose power nor credibility but actually profit when American kids fail, we can only expect things to get worse.
8 Lessons to Learn From the Failure of Common Core
Education reform is a risky business, and few programs illustrate this better than the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The original idea might have been good, but a multitude of unwise decisions twisted and politicized it until it became one of the least popular reforms in America.
“It’s a case of a wasted decade,” Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), told PJ Media in an interview Tuesday. Hess’s new book, Letters to a Young Education Reformer, presents many important lessons for those who wish to reform education in America, and almost all of them would have helped Common Core avoid the disaster it became.
It isn’t just conservatives who look askance at Common Core. Many teachers and teachers unions dislike it as well. Hess explained that while Common Core is still on the books in “close to 40 states,” the standards themselves do not mean very much. He estimated that Common Core tests are now used “in less than half the country.”
Hess actually argued that Common Core today is in a worse position than it would have been in 2010 or 2011. Why? Here are some of the reasons.
1. “Obama Core.”
In 2007 and 2008, education reformers realized that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) required states to test kids in reading and math, creating an incentive for states to make their tests easier in order to make schools look better, Hess explained. Reformers wanted to develop an apples-to-apples comparison, and some states agreed to launch Common Core.
but in 2009, President Obama’s stimulus package included education spending, and his administration tied education funding to state adoption of Common Core.
What would have been adopted by about 15 or 20 states on their own accord was suddenly adopted by about 40 states — and the final version hadn’t even been released yet!
“In some ways, it was the worst of all words,” Hess told PJ Media. “It felt like it had been ordered by Washington, states were bribed and coerced into doing it, and it was done in the dark of night.”
By making the Common Core a federal program, Obama politicized it — and made it seem imposed by Washington bureaucracy.
In his book, Hess warned that policy can make people do things, but it can’t make them do things well. In education, that difference is key. Furthermore, the book warned about the corruption of power. When you’re out of power, you tend to be skeptical. When you have it, “it’s tempting to use it.”
2. Passion blinded Common Core advocates.
Throughout his book, Hess warned about the “perils of passion.” The AEI scholar explained that “when we get excited about stuff, it’s easy to imagine that everybody is as excited as we are and we put on blinders.”
“When the Common Core folks saw everybody they talked to was saying nice stuff about this, they forgot that they were only talking to 1 percent of the country,” he explained. Eventually, backers of the program became so convinced in its effectiveness that they felt confident dismissing anyone who was critical of it.
3. Dismissing critics made reform impossible.
When people started realizing what was happening with Common Core — strange math work, a large emphasis on testing — “rather than say ‘We went too far too fast,’ advocates of Common Core threw gasoline on the fire by saying anybody who had concerns was a wing-nut,” Hess explained.
Common Core advocates “did remarkably little over the following three or four years to get out and explain to people what Common Core was, listen to them, and figure it out.” This lack of debate prevented reformers from making alterations to Common Core which might have satisfied — or at least addressed — the concerns of teachers and parents.
In his book, Hess warned about the dangers of groupthink. He lamented that most people in education reform tend to be political liberals. Reformers need to continually challenge their ideas by talking to people who disagree with them.
4. Common Core advocates overstated its importance.
Hess noted that part of Common Core’s original strategy was to emphasize that the reform involved only reading and math standards.
In 2013, however, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared, “I believe the Common Core State standards may prove to be the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown verses Board of Education.”
This grandiose rhetoric again illustrated the danger of power, Hess warned. Duncan himself once declared NCLB a “broken” law, calling for less Washington control of education. By the end of his time in Washington, this same man was fighting to keep NCLB’s federal control of education intact.
5. The limits of data in education.
“When we talked about the Common Core, advocates didn’t say ‘slightly better reading and math tests,’ they said, ‘now we can precisely measure whether students and teachers are doing their job well,'” Hess explained. Their emphasis on testing revealed an irrational faith in data.
The AEI scholar explained that teachers and parents want kids to learn about more than just reading and math. “Reading and math scores capture about 30 to 35 percent of what I care about,” Hess explained. In his book, he used the example of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, a 2004 book by Michael Lewis turned into a 2011 movie with Brad Pitt.
In Moneyball, baseball manager Billy Beane used a complex statistical analysis to recruit hidden talent. Beane did this by avoiding the most commonly used statistics, such as home runs, runs batted in, batting average, and so on, and focusing on the real measures of talent.
Modern education statistics “are primitive, limited, and often misleading,” like the original baseball stats. “Education’s moneyball moment awaits the collection of deep, systematic data on the processes of teaching, learning, and school operations,” Hess wrote in his book.
6. Minimizing the role of parents.
In 2013, Education Secretary Duncan told state superintendents that “white suburban moms” were rebelling against the Common Core because their kids have done poorly on the tests. “All of a sudden, their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought … and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said.
Dismissing the concerns of parents was not a good idea, as it alienated parents and prevented the possibility of reforming Common Core to make it better suit everyone’s needs.
“It’s not that reformers ought to feel that they have to give in to this group or that group of parents all the time, but parents usually care a lot more about their kid than reformers,” Hess explained. Dismissing parents’ concerns is “a surefire way to convince parents that reformers are not working for their child.”
7. Overlooking history.
Many reformers get frustrated at the difficulty of changing the school system, but even a cursory understanding of the history of schooling in America explains why reform is so difficult, Hess explained. In his book, he noted that schooling in America grew slowly and was intended to do different things over the centuries.
Because the United States is a huge country and different school districts were established at different times for different reasons, a one-size-fits-all approach that encourages radical changes will run into a great deal of unnecessary problems.
If Common Core advocates understood this, they would have said, “Let’s start with the places that get this, that are excited about it, and everybody else is going to see how helpful it is to be a Common Core-aligned state,” Hess argued.
Instead of growing Common Core in a few states that were excited about it and willing to make changes, advocates used the federal government to bribe states into accepting it. “That’s not a good way to change organizations that are six or eight or twelve generations old,” the AEI scholar said.
8. The virtues of school choice.
The best lesson to learn from the failure of Common Core is how to avoid repeating it. Unlike this program, the school choice movement is local. Education reform does best when “focusing on people who want to do it, letting them do it, and growing it in an environment of trust,” Hess argued.
The virtue of school choice isn’t that it “works” in some nebulous way. Rather, this reform is helpful because it creates a sort of free market in education, which allows reformers, teachers, and parents to “create school communities where teachers want to be there, students want to be there, and where there’s a clear vision.”
School choice, charter schooling, education savings accounts, and school voucher programs have had to “grow from the ground up in the past 25 years,” the AEI scholar noted. Since these initiatives never had a big federal push, they had to develop slowly.
Hess warned that President Donald Trump, by championing school choice from Washington, D.C., would actually harm this important reform. “Having Obama be the pitch man for the Common Core ended up being a huge mistake for the Common Core,” he argued. “It became Obama Core,” and if school choice “becomes Trump Choice, a lot of hard-earned trust starts to come under the same pressure that Obama created with the Common Core.”
The AEI scholar encouraged President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to champion school choice, but only by giving states flexibility to choose federal funds to support it, and to curb regulations that block needed reform.
“What matters in school reform is much more how you do it rather than whether you do it,” Hess explained. “No matter how well-intentioned, when the President and Secretary of Education go to the head of the school reform parade, it often creates more problems than it solves.”
Freeing up education for local school choice reforms is a great way to achieve reform, because it allows different school districts to adjust in different ways. For more reform tips and some great wisdom from his 25 years in education, read Hess’s new book — it’s just a short 150 pages!