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Once First in the Nation, Massachusetts Students Show Further Decline After Common Core

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Massachusetts students were first in the nation in reading and math performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam – until the state adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 and then updated the same standards this year.  According to a new study released by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, while Common Core led to tumbling scores on the NAEP in both English and math for Massachusetts students, the 2017 standards update shows students’ performance in English is deteriorating further as math scores remain as they did with the 2010 Common Core.  “These standards rely on process- and skills-based ideas, which brush aside knowledge of Western and English literary traditions,” said Emory University English Professor Mark Bauerlein, a co-author of Pioneer’s study titled “Mediocrity 2.0: Massachusetts Rebrands Common Core ELA and Math.”

December 19, 2017

INTERNATIONAL CONFIRMATION: America Is Dumbing Down Its Kids

INTERNATIONAL CONFIRMATION: America Is Dumbing Down Its Kids

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An international assessment has confirmed what American parents have been protesting for years about Common Core — students are being dumbed down.

Since Common Core Standards were imposed on the states, reading scores for United States fourth-graders have declined, both for the average score and in comparison with their peers in other nations. Those scores of the lowest-performing students declined the most.

According to the results of the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, an assessment given to fourth-graders in schools around the world every five years, the U.S. overall average reading score was lower than the averages for 12 education systems.

December 19, 2017

American Test Scores Decline… Gee, Wonder Why?

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n 2013 Michael Cohen of Achieve, Inc. (an organization integral to developing and marketing the Common Core national standards) testified in New York that Common Core is a long-term education experiment on our children: “The full effects… won’t be seen until an entire cohort of students, from kindergarten through high school graduation, has been effectively exposed to Common Core teaching.” Four years later we may not be seeing the full effects, but heaven help us when we get there.

The most recent red flag comes from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), an international assessment of the reading skills of representative samples of fourth-graders. As reported by the Washington Post, the 2016 PIRLS results show U.S. students tumbling from fifth in the world to thirteenth. Scores fell by seven points from those achieved by fourth-graders in 2011, the last time scores were released.

Hmm. What could have happened in schools between 2011 and 2016 that might have affected the academic performance of eight-year-olds? A Harvard education professor speculated that the 2009 recession and that old reliable — poverty — could have been the culprits. Education Secretary and on-again off-again Common Core supporter Betsy DeVos couldn’t identify a specific factor but suggested we need to “rethink school.”

December 19, 2017

Post-Common Core, U.S. Kids Slide On Another Academic Measure

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International test results released this week show U.S. students losing ground on yet another measure in the Common Core era, reading test results for fourth graders. On the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, a comparison given every five years in 58 countries, U.S. fourth graders dropped from 556 in 2011 to 549 in 2016, out of 1,000 possible points.

December 11, 2017

5 Years Into Common Core, 15-Year-Olds Behind 35 Countries in Math

Students in the United States have fallen behind kids in many other countries, according to the two largest international benchmarking tests in math, science, and reading. Five years into the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (commonly known as “Common Core”), 15-year-old kids in the United States lag behind their peers in 35 other countries in math.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 showed American students holding stagnant in science and reading, compared to results in 2012 and 2009, but far behind their previous results in math. Out of the 69 countries (and territories) tested, the United States ranked 39th.

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January 4, 2017

How Establishment Republicans Anchored States to Common Core

Establishment Republican politicians have boasted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) prohibits the U.S. secretary of education from coercing states into adopting the Common Core standards.  However, many who have studied the law say not only is that claim unfounded, but also that ESSA actually imposes Common Core on the entire country.

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January 4, 2017

* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * ASHLEY’S “NORMAL” EDUCATION? PART 2

Ashley struggles in school.

Her struggles relate directly to her unaddressed developmental trauma.

Cognitive and academic impacts of developmental trauma  were outlined in “Ashley’s “Normal” Education, Part 1,” HERE.

Ashley’s education has included, her parents’ divorce, her stepfather’s mental health issues, her mother’s angry abuse, her grandmother’s alcoholism and living every day in one of the highest violence and crime neighborhoods in our city.

 

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January 4, 2017

No Test Left Behind – How Pearson Made a Killing on the US Testing Craze

Three days after taking office, George W. Bush unveiled his signature domestic policy, No Child Left Behind. The bill would triple the number of exams the federal government required of students, while dangling stiff penalties over struggling schools. For many educators it felt like a depth charge.

The mood was different at Pearson Education, a division of the London-based conglomerate Pearson PLC. As the education community was still absorbing the shock in February 2001, Pearson Education chief executive Peter Jovanovich spoke to a group of Wall Street investment analysts. He pointed them to the proposed annual testing requirements and school report cards. “This,” Jovanovich said, “almost reads like our business plan.”  Read

January 4, 2017

Note to Common Core/ESSA Proponents: You are the Gurus of Fake News.

he MEW January 1, 2015 article recently appeared in Facebook memories.  You can find it here.  It might as well have been written for a New Year’s greeting to the educational elites in 2017 as it dealt with the CCSS architects defending the failing standards in a National Public Radio interview:

“The creation of the standards is enshrouded in mystery for people,” Zimba says. “I wish people understood what a massive process it was, and how many people were involved. It was a lot of work.”

January 4, 2017

Is it better to teach pure math instead of applied math?

Abstract, pure math — solving disembodied equations filled with x’s and y’s —  can often seem boring. Creative math teachers commonly try to come up with concrete, real-world examples to motivate students and make math relevant to adolescents.

But a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds that applied-math instruction, or the way it is actually taught in classrooms, may not be serving students well. Furthermore, it found that teachers were often using a watered-down, applied-math approach in classrooms of low-income students, while giving higher income students much more exposure to pure math.

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January 3, 2017

How Establishment Republicans Anchored States to Common Core

Establishment Republican politicians have boasted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) prohibits the U.S. secretary of education from coercing states into adopting the Common Core standards.  However, many who have studied the law say not only is that claim unfounded, but also that ESSA actually imposes Common Core on the entire country.  In December of 2015, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, touted that he and Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (WA) had facilitated the “bipartisan” passage of the ESSA measure that would replace the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind (NCLB). President Barack Obama signed the bill into law almost immediately, referring to it as a “Christmas miracle.”

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January 3, 2017

5 Years Into Common Core, 15-Year-Olds Behind 35 Countries in Math

Students in the United States have fallen behind kids in many other countries, according to the two largest international benchmarking tests in math, science, and reading. Five years into the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (commonly known as “Common Core”), 15-year-old kids in the United States lag behind their peers in 35 other countries in math.

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 showed American students holding stagnant in science and reading, compared to results in 2012 and 2009, but far behind their previous results in math. Out of the 69 countries (and territories) tested, the United States ranked 39th.

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January 3, 2017

Why the Education Establishment Hates Cursive

Modern educators are dismissive of cursive.  Indeed, many are hostile to such a degree that you should immediately suspect that they are up to something.

Here is an education journalist providing the Party Line: “Cursive writing is an anachronism. Spending any classroom time on it is comparable to teaching how to use an abacus: it’s interesting as a history lesson, and probably offers some side benefits, but it is not at all practical as a day-to-day skill in the modern, connected world.”

 

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December 27, 2016

Utah guv tells education board ‘it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong’ — it’s time to move away from Common Core

Utah guv tells education board ‘it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong’ — it’s time to move away from Common Core

Utah’s Board of Education has agreed to end SAGE testing in high school and review its use of the Common Core State Standards — if lawmakers lend a hand.  The board regularly reviews and updates state standards in academic subjects, but members voted on Friday to accelerate the schedule for Utah’s math and English standards — which are based, in part, on the Common Core — if lawmakers provide significant one-time funding to accomplish that task.  “We need the bandwidth because we are essentially taking this a little bit earlier but we don’t want to stop what we’re already doing,” said David Thomas, vice chairman of the state school board.  read

May 15, 2016

Math Education in Jeopardy

Math Education in Jeopardy

Jay Matthews at The Washington Post wrote another piece about the crisis in our nation’s math instruction under Common Core. In his article he quotes a parent who happens to be a college chemistry professor.  John Fourkas, both a parent and a University of Maryland chemistry professor, said much of the Common Core-based math curriculum seems to him “completely disjointed, focusing too much on specialized vocabulary.” He said there is “not enough repetition of key skills as new topics are introduced.”  “Our son has had the misfortune of being on the leading edge of the reform, and so every year there is a new curriculum with which the teachers are not familiar,” Fourkas said. “Our son is in Algebra 2 this year, and I give them great credit for learning from their mistakes and designing a curriculum that is far more coherent.”  Matthews also discusses parental frustrations with the delay of algebra.  read

May 15, 2016

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