Tuesday, November 06, 2018

How Are Kids Doing Under Common Core

Are all our students Stanford-bound now?
It’s been about nine years since the Obama administration lured states into adopting Common Core sight unseen, with promises it would improve student achievement. Like President Obama’s other big promises — “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” — this one’s been proven a scam.

“If you set and enforce rigorous and challenging standards and assessments; if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom; if you turn around failing schools — your state can win a Race to the Top grant that will not only help students outcompete workers around the world, but let them fulfill their God-given potential,” President Obama said in July 2009.

He went on to state his faith that Common Core — at that point unwritten — would “not only make America’s entire education system the envy of the world, but we will launch a Race to the Top that will prepare every child, everywhere in America, for the challenges of the 21st century.” Race to the Top was a $4 billion money pot inside the 2009 stimulus that helped bribe states into Common Core.

So here we are, nine years later. Common Core has been officially rolled out into U.S. public and even many private schools for at least three to five years now. Are American children increasingly prepared for the “the challenges of the 21st century”? We’re actually seeing the opposite. They’re increasingly less prepared. And there’s mounting evidence that Common Core deserves some of the blame.
I'm glad the author said "some of the blame", as I've previously chronicled too many examples of forces outside of schools having a negative impact on learning.

Still, we teachers own a large part of this blame.  Saint Barack wanted Common Core, so large swaths of teachers and their unions jumped on that bandwagon.  Like so many other mistakes, we continue to try to find ways to make it work rather than admitting failure and trying something more rational.

I won't speak to the English standards, but the California math standards that were replaced by Common Core were more clear, more understandable, and more rigorous than the Common Core math standards, and California students did better under those old standards.  And just so you know, they were imposed by a Democratic governor.

1 comment:

lgm said...

80% of success is showing up. That means mentally as well as physically.
The successor program is being rolled out here...that's going to be all computer based learning, similar to Aleks. Solves the attendance problem - the person can sit there and do nothing without affecting everyone else; they can go to their home country for a few months and then return and pick up where they left off; when they move across town they can still keep continuity in the lesson. Haven't heard about language options yet, but I'm guessing it will be available in more than one. Also allows formative assessment to be done; that's been long gone from classrooms here.