Common Core is a failed experiment that was not state-led and not evidence-based. The nation is at a turning point and now that results of this harmful experiment that was perpetrated on American students are pouring in, a solution must be found. Last month Education Reporter exposed the dismal test results of younger students. Common Core results are bad news for all students.
The Pioneer Institute Study “Common Core, School Choice, and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform” was presented by its authors at The Heritage Foundation on November 8, 2018. Authors of the study are Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks and Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute. Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project Jane Robbins wrote about the presentation for Townhall in an article titled “New Evidence Reveals Full Extent of Common Core’s Historic Failure.”
“Higher performing” students hoping to attend college have been harmed by Common Core. Robbins reports, “Rebarber’s graph of recent ACT scores showed that the modest upward trend line flattens upon Common Core release and then begins a decline which accelerates with full implementation.”
ACT is the English, Reading, Math, Science, and optional Writing test that students take and institutions of higher education use to determine college admissions. The ACT is considered by many to be a better test than the SAT, especially since revisions to that test attempted to make it align with Common Core. This was instigated by David Coleman, who is often described as “the architect of Common Core.” He now has a leadership position with the College Board, the organization of which SAT testing is a part.
In October, Education Week reported, “The newest batch of ACT scores shows troubling long-term declines in performance, with students’ math achievement reaching a 20-year low.” But that publication’s analysis failed to name Common Core as the culprit. Education Week almost completely missed the point, deflecting attention away from the failed Common Core standards and instead seeming to blame teachers and school districts. The “great standards, poorly implemented” trope has been repeatedly used to prop up and excuse the failing standards.
Education Week said:
Math and English scores drew the attention of the ACT by another measure, too: readiness for college-level work. The ACT’s score benchmarks are correlated with the likelihood of earning Bs or Cs in credit-bearing coursework. And increasing num- bers of students are falling short. Only 4 in 10 met the math benchmark, the lowest level since 2004, and down from 46% in 2012. Six in 10 met the English benchmark, the lowest since the benchmarks were introduced in 2002.
Matt Larson, the immediate past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, told Education Week, “As a country, we’ve reached the limits of what we can get out of standards alone.” Larson said, “We need to pay more attention to what is taking place in the classroom.” (Education Week, 10-17-18)
Common Core standards, which instituted teaching math methods that confuse students and make it almost impossible for them to take trigonometry in high school by pushing back foundational classes, are the problem. Teaching according to those standards is what is “taking place” in classrooms. Curriculum has been Common Core-aligned and teachers face negative consequences when they don’t follow along with the aligned curriculum.
[The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a primary proponent of Common Core, is a major financial supporter of Education Week.]
More Bad News
Jane Robbins says, “Common Core has been a great leveler—just not in the way it was promised.”
Robbins explains that it isn’t just ACT math scores that are dangerously disappointing. She says, “Significantly, unlike today’s students, the higher-scoring 2012 students had had little if any exposure to the ‘glorious’ reforms of Common Core. As for reading, only 60% of test-takers met the college-readiness benchmark – the lowest level ever in the 16-year history of the benchmark.”
The chief executive officer of ACT said about the situation, “We’re at a very dangerous point. And if we do nothing, it will keep on declining.”
Anyone with no Gates funding and two brain cells to rub together would conclude that a good start would be ditching Common Core lock, stock, and barrel — every ‘informational text,’ every ‘close reading,’ every ‘deeper conceptual understanding,’ every ‘Lexile’ measure, every ‘alternative algorithm,’ every ‘real-world problem-solving,’ every ‘rigorous’ standard, every delay in standard algorithms, every delay in algebra, every ‘collaboration,’ every ‘consensus’ — all of it.
(TruthInAmericanEducation.com, 10-8- 18) (Townhall.com, 11-20-18)