Barack Obama’s Common Core program is a complete failure that has produced “sharp drops” in student performance across the country, according to researchers who conducted a study into the impact of the controversial educational reform.
Declaring Obama’s Common Core to be “worst large-scale educational failure in 40 years,” the study examined the effects of Common Core on school choice and found the program has “blunted the innovation, dynamism, and competition” while also producing the worst math scores in generations.
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Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks co-authored the study with Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey, who previously led another study, titled “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,” which was published by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute.
Parents and teachers across the US are now urging the Trump administration to dump the Common Core curriculum, arguing that it deliberately dumbs down children and creates unnecessary and complicated methods for working out relatively simple problems.
Academic researchers Ted Rebarber and Neal McCluskey agree that it’s time to ditch the toxic program. Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event last week, the pair explained how Common Core has not only damaged public-school education but also created obstacles for choosing schools.
Rebarber highlighted the danger when politicians submit to the allure of standards-based educational reforms.
“Standards become the blueprint around which schools organize their teaching, their day-to-day academic operations,” he said.
“They’re effectively curriculum central planning by government.”
In the study, the authors observed that since Common Core was implemented in 45 states and Washington, DC, students have demonstrated sharp drops in academic performance. Students who were already performing poorly– many of them minority students – declined even further.
Yet, in the name of accountability, when private school choice programs receive taxpayer-funded vouchers, they are often forced to adopt the curriculum on which the state standardized test is based. In most cases, that curriculum is aligned with Common Core.
“Common Core blunts the innovation, dynamism, and competition that is the heart of the school choice movement,” McCluskey noted.
Common Core was sold to the nation not only as a set of standards that was “rigorous” and designed to encourage higher levels of achievement but also as a program that would shrink the achievement gap between middle-class students and those from the lower socioeconomic levels.
Instead, it shrunk everybody’s achievements.
In April of 2016, only about 37 percent of U.S. 12th graders were shown to be prepared for math and reading at the college level, according to the 2015 NAEP – also known as the Nation’s Report Card.
Since Obama introduced Common Core, the United States has also fallen from near the top of international rankings for the first time in modern history.
Results released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) showed that on the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the U.S. has declined in performance from fifth in international ranking in 2011 to 13th in 2016 out of 58 international education systems.
“We seem to be declining as other education systems record larger gains on the assessment,” said Peggy G. Carr, acting commissioner for the federal NCES, according to the Washington Post.
“This is a trend we’ve seen on other international assessments in which the U.S. participates.”
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