Study: Obama’s Common Core ‘Worst Large-Scale Educational Failure in 40 Years’

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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.

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.

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.

[RELATED: 9 Years Into Barack Obama’s Common Core — Math Scores at 20 Year Low and Falling]

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.

Socialist education

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.”

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry

Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.
Baxter Dmitry


  1. Among the scores of Obama failures, which are legion, history will show that the BIGGEST OF ALL will be the enlargement of the national debt, i.e. taking the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion.

    Five years from now, when interest rates have returned to normal, and the annual interest expense is $1 trillion ($20 trillion x 5% = $1 trillion) Congress will be asking us, “Do you want Defense, or do you want Social Security…because we can no longer afford both.”

    Brought to you courtesy of Barack Obama and the Democrat party!

    Thanks Obama!

    • Trump has added a massive amount of debt while the US economy has been strong, whereas Obama took over during the depths of the financial crisis.

      Economists typically recommend that the federal government increase spending, and thus add more debt, during times of economic struggles and then pay down that debt when the economy recovers. So while economic theory would support Obama’s spending to help support the economy, Trump’s recent debt binge has less support among economists.

      Looking ahead, recent legislative changes are expected to help Trump catch up to some of his predecessors in the debt-accumulation department.

      The combination of the new GOP tax law and the recent bipartisan spending deal are projected to increase the speed of debt accumulation over the rest of Trump’s presidency.

      • Sorry…no “economic theory” that I am familiar with would suggest adding $10 trillion in 8 years. And economic HISTORY suggests that a recovery coming out of a recession (as deep as the 2008 one) should have been MASSIVELY more powerful – but for the Obama economic policies.

        Those policies resulted in a tepid economic recovery, which meant additional debt, plus FEWER jobs than either Reagan or Clinton produced (on a proportional basis).

        As to the current Trump recovery – talk to me in a couple years. Messrs Kudlow, Moore and Laffer, who were recommending a corporate tax rate reduction long before joining the White House, NEVER promised that the tax reduction would pay for itself in the first twelve months. We won’t see the true results until the end of the 3-4th years, when the tax revenues from the “ginned up” economy begin to truly flow.

        Finally, I guess we need to define terms. If Trump’s addition to the national debt has been “massive” (maybe $2 trillion)…then we need to find new terms to describe what Obama did ($10 trillion in new debt, or over $2 for every $1 of GDP growth created). In addition, no discussion of the debt is complete unless we remember that the Fed added trillions more on it’s balance sheet – which is ultimately due to the former president’s policies. We will be paying for ALL of the above for generationsl

        The fact is – Obama’s ridiculous economic policies kept money offshore, and in the bank accounts of business. This meant very little capital investment occurred, which led to the miserable economic performance. There is little argument about this.

        Hope you are enjoying the fruits of the Trump Economy this weekend!

  2. The schools also dumbed down the students when they quit teaching incursive. So many only know how to print their names on legal documents now. So sad.

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