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June 6 2019

Common Core: A Decade of Making American Education (Even) Worse

by Vicki E. Alger

Common Core turns ten this month, but results from a new report suggest there’s not much reason to celebrate.

Researchers with the federally-funded Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) examined fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math performance changes from 2010 through 2017 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum reports that the CAIL study:

…shows that states that changed their standards most dramatically by adopting the Common Core didn’t outpace other states on federal NAEP exams. By 2017 — seven years after most states had adopted them — the standards appear to have led to modest declines in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math scores. “It’s rather unexpected,” said researcher Mengli Song ... “The magnitude of the negative effects tend to increase over time. That’s a little troubling.”

Now there’s an under-statement.

Joy Pullmann, Executive Editor for The Federalist and author of The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids, explains that these new findings are hardly earth-shattering. She and numerous other experts have also concluded Common Core compromises student learning in terms of test results.

As Pullmann sums up, top-down, DC-driven education has been “elevating incompetence since 1965.” Yet the excuses by Common-Core apologists keep coming. C-SAIL Co-director Morgan Polikoff told Chalkbeat that there are “steep” challenges to knowing whether Common Core worked or not: “I think that this question is more or less impossible to answer.”

Of course, that didn’t stop Polikoff’s organization from accepting nearly $10 million in taxpayer-funded federal grant money to do just that. To him and other Common-Core apologists Pullmann offers a much-needed reality check:

Look, Common Core cost taxpayers billions of dollars, teachers and students millions of hours, and possibly the U.S. economy and plenty of student achievement. People who say “We have no idea whether something that cost billions of dollars and hours of teacher and student time will work” should lose all credibility and never be allowed near any position of power over other people’s children.

Sadly, however, such Common-Core boosters still occupy positions of power and prominence, as Pullmann continues:

Instead, they fail upward. Dozens of people who created and pushed Common Core are laughing all the way to the bank, having cashed in their positions on the project for massive resumes and salaries. Dozens, if not hundreds, of vocal Common Core aiders and abettors hold positions of power throughout state education agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, education media and foundations, and teachers’ colleges nationwide.


The solution to debacles like Common Core is restoring full parental control over their children’s education and upbringing. We may not agree with some of the choices some parents would make for their children, but under a parent-controlled education system, no one would have the power to impose their preferences on anyone else’s children.

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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