Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Massive Failure Called Common Core

Over the years The Federalist's Joy Pullmann has done yeoman work exposing the scam that is called Common Core. (via Maggie's Farm)

You recall that the Obama administration foisted this massive educational reform on the American school system. In that it was abetted by do-gooding billionaire Bill Gates. One might notes that Gates has no real experience in elementary and high school education, but he’s rich, so, what the hell. Being extremely rich now counts as a qualification. With that much money you can hire the best experts, don't you think? The trouble is that without any real experience in the field you will become completely dependent on people whose credentials might have very little to do with expertise in a field.

We recall, for the sake of nostalgia, a point dutifully reported on this blog, namely that a distinguished mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, one Marina Ratner, set out one day to help  her middle school aged grandson with his math homework. Upon examining the Common Core approach she found it confusing and innumerate. It overcomplicated simple concepts to the point where the exercise was no longer really mathematics. She wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal.

If anyone had asked a real expert, a great math professor, they would have saved the nation’s children from falling behind in math and reading. The politicians, bureaucrats and billionaires who promoted Common Core never did it. One suspects that they relied on professors of education.

Heck, even the liberal Brookings Institute predicted calamity:

Notably, the left-leaning Brookings Institute published several relatively early analyses suggesting, then demonstrating, that Common Core was at best not going to benefit American kids.

Anyway, Pullmann quotes a recent study of the results of Common Core:

“Contrary to our expectation, we found that [Common Core] had significant negative effects on 4th graders’ reading achievement during the 7 years after the adoption of the new standards, and had a significant negative effect on 8th graders’ math achievement 7 years after adoption based on analyses of NAEP composite scores,” the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction and Learning (C-SAIL) preliminary study said.

Got that: a significant negative effect. Common Core made children stupid, in both reading and mathematics.

The study found not only lower student achievement since Common Core, but also performed data analysis suggesting students would have done better if Common Core had never existed. The achievement declines also grew worse over time, study coauthor Mengli Song told Chalkbeat, an education news website: “That’s a little troubling.”

Who was responsible for this systematic effort to dumb down the nation? Pullmann names names:

Common Core is 640 pages of K-12 curriculum and testing mandates that nearly every state switched to between 2010 and 2013 under heavy federal pressure. President Obama, his education secretary Arne Duncan, and private financier Bill Gates promised the nation that overhauling what students learn and how it is measured would lead to student achievement gains.

Obviously, educational achievement, or lack of same, has a direct effect on the nation’s economic well being. If children no longer enjoy reading, they will be uninformed louts, blaring out opinions based on little more than a need to feel like a cult follower. If children do not know how to do math , companies will be obliged to outsource new high tech jobs to foreign countries:

Research shows that student achievement is directly linked with state and national economic health. Students’ performance on math tests “is a strong predictor of the state’s growth rate in GDP” per person, finds a 2016 Harvard University study. It found that improving U.S. students’ math achievement to just the “basic” level on the Nation’s Report Card could boost the U.S. economy by trillions of dollars long term. So Common Core may have cost the U.S. economy by depressing American kids’ math skills below what they would have been if states had refused to adopt Common Core.

You will be happy to know that Bill Gates was undeterred. He decided that it would take a decade for the positive benefits to show up. The Obama administration, responsible for the systematic dumbing down of America’s children will never take responsibility. Worse yet, how many people are really aware of what happened?

Bill Gates also admitted the same thing years after he used his mega billions and elevated social position to convince and fund the Obama administration to muscle Common Core into schools. Quote: “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.” Obama is still considered a “scandal-less” president despite his administration’s linchpin efforts in forcing this scam on American families, teachers, and kids.

Pullmann concludes:

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.

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 abetters hold positions of power throughout state education agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, education media and foundations, and teachers’ colleges nationwide. Is anyone ever going to drain this swamp?

It’s a very sad tale, indeed.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

My comment at the 6:28 post applies here, too.