9 Years Into Obama’s Common Core – Math Scores at 20 Year Low and Falling

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Nine years after Barack Obama forced schools around the country to adopt Common Core, teachers are coming forward with results to prove the controversial teaching method is a failure, and significantly less effective than traditional teaching methods.

Nine years after Barack Obama forced schools around the country to adopt Common Core, teachers are coming forward with results to prove the controversial teaching method is a failure, and significantly less effective than traditional teaching methods.

Parents and teachers across the nation are now urging schools to dump the toxic Common Core curriculum, arguing that it deliberately dumbs down children and creates unnecessary and complicated methods for working out relatively simple problems.

Students are recording results lower than previously thought possible, and frustrated teachers are warning that “if we do nothing” about Common Core the results “will keep on declining.”

The newest batch of ACT scores show “dangerous long-term declines in performance,” with students’ math achievement reaching a new 20-year low, according to results released last month.

The average math score for the graduating class of 2018 was 20.5, marking a steady decline from 20.9 five years ago, and virtually no progress since 1998, when it was 20.6. Each of the four sections of the college-entrance exam is graded on a 36-point scale.

We’re at a very dangerous point. And if we do nothing, it will keep on declining,” ACT’s chief executive officer, Marten Roorda, said in an interview.

Education Weeks reports: The pattern in math scores is particularly worrisome at a time when strong math skills are important for the science, engineering, and technology jobs that play powerful roles in the U.S. economy, he said.

Matt Larson, the immediate past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, said the math scores “are extremely disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.

Concerns About College Readiness

While the trends in ACT math were worrisome, the scores in English didn’t offer much cause for celebration, either. The average score for the class of 2018 was 20.2, the same as five years ago, and down half a point from the English-score high in 2007.

On the science section of the ACT, students in the class of 2018 averaged 20.7, down from 21 in 2017, and about the same as five years ago.

The national average composite score for the class of 2018 was 20.8, down from 21 in 2017 and about the same as in 2016.

Math and English scores drew the attention of the ACT by another measure, too: readiness for college-level work. The ACT’s score benchmarks are correlated with the likelihood of earning Bs or Cs in credit-bearing coursework. And increasing numbers of students are falling short.

Only 4 in 10 met the math benchmark, the lowest level since 2004, and down from 46 percent in 2012. Six in 10 met the English benchmark, the lowest level since the benchmarks were introduced in 2002.

It’s going to take a lot more than acknowledging Common Core’s failure to make up for the years of classroom chaos that the Bill Gates/Barack Obama curriculum inflicted on many teachers and students without their consent. A direct apology and a promise to stay away from our kids and their education in the future would be a start.

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.
Email: baxter@thepeoplesvoice.tv
Baxter Dmitry


  1. One of the many problems with CC Math is that there is a focus on making students think about how they found the answer to a math problem, even if their answer is incorrect. Math is factual. Your answer is either right or wrong and no amount of explaining will give you the correct answer if you haven’t memorized your math facts.
    Liberals are usually short on facts though, so it’s no wonder Obama loved Common Core.

  2. Common Core requires you to think linearly, much like the Asian approach to math. It also requires you to work, rather than recite math facts, although most classrooms teach math facts too. Sadly, every year it seems the classes are dumber than the year before. Perhaps if parents didn’t just sit their kids in front of the tv or computer to entertain them results might be better. The bottom line is the Parents are lazy, the students are lazy, and nothing is going to get better. The few students who come from liberal, educated households do exceedingly well. The conservative kids have not learned how to learn and nothing the schools will do can change that.

    • So you equate good performance to liberal households and poor performance to conservative ones. Horse hockey. The pain cause by this system is across the board. You dismiss parents and the students themselves as lazy when we’re the one who are desperately trying to help kids with problems that are entirely unclear with a asinine process attached to it? Again, pure BS. When my kids have been given problems to solve that are confusing and ridiculous in their presentation, I’ve showed them how to solve them using the methods I learned growing up. They would immediately get it and use those methods to answer them correctly – only for the teacher to mark the correct answers as incorrect because the CC method wasn’t used.

      My kids do not need to know the quantum fluctuations of the universe to know why 8 x 8 is 64. It’s a fact, and those facts were always used as a solid foundation to bring about a greater ability to solve problems. A convoluted and drawn out process to construct a base of factual information to solve a deeper problem is note necessary or helpful when simple math-fact memorization comes to the correct answer a clearer and consistently precise fashion. That the idea of a factual, perfect science being graded and taught as an artificially convoluted process that is entirely inefficient and age inappropriate to boot is somehow a good thing is complete bunk.

      Go to a private school and look at how they teach mathematics. They…by an overwhelming margin…do not teach mathematics using the Common Core methods because the entire reason parents pay gross amounts of tuition is to get a better education for their kids.

    • California is 44th in the Country for math scores. I would say that they are a pretty liberal state. How do you explain that?

      • The way liberals always explain how their lies are the truth: assert it, and call anyone who disagrees an “ignorant conservative.” Or perhaps a “hateful conservative.” “Inbred conservative” is also a favored bit of invective.

    • We are a conservative household. MY children are excellent students. My son has had a 4.0 all his school years. I understand that he is only a 7th grader but he pushes himself to excellence. He also sings, plays trombone, piano, basketball, baseball, school plays. Participates with Scholars Bowl, and the state Spelling Bee. He also enjoys relaxing watching TV and being on his tablet. School work comes first in our house. My daughter doesn’t have a 4.0 like her brother but does well. She is in the 4th grade. My parents (conservative also) taught us hardwork is the only way to succeed in life. I work in the elementary school and I would agree that there are lazy students out there but to put all the lazy kids/parents in the conservative basket is wrong. Just like stating that all liberals are crazy wanna be socialist. Please stop generalizing. There are good and bad things about common core.

    • The common core requires you not to think. The 2001 New York State Common Core Earth Science textbook explains that the way we know that Global Warming is anthropogenic is “it’s defined that way.” [emphasis mine]

      • “2001 New York State Common Core Earth Science”

        1) Common Core development stared in 2009. There were no Common Core standards in 2001, when you claim this textbook was printed.

        2) Common Core standards apply to English/Language Arts and Math. There are not, nor have there ever been, Common Core standards for Earth Science.

        For someone claiming that Common Core requires you not to think, you appear to know very little about it, and put very little thought into your obviously fake claim.

        • 1) Mea culpa: Copyright (C) 2005.
          2) Tua culpa: Development could have started no later than the copyright date: 2005.
          3) Thomas McGuire, Earth Science: The Physical Setting (C) 2005 by Amsco School Publications , Inc.
          4) p. iii: “To the Student
          Earth Science: The Physical Setting, which follows the New York State Core Curriculum, is an introduction to the study of Earth Science…
          These features include
          1. Carefully sselected, logically organized content. This book offers an introductory Earth Science course stripped of unnecessary details that lead to confusion.” (underline emphasis mine)

          • That’s a whole lot to say you were wrong.

            I’m going to point out that it states the New York State Core Curriculum. That’s not Common Core.

            Thanks for proving my point about your level of thought. Try doing a better job reading, and understanding what you’re commenting on next time.

          • So you “think” (well, at least proclaim) that the idea of a “common core” did not start to develop until long after various states not only thought the idea up but also implemented the idea, intra-state? Yes, you have proven your point about your level of thought. Do try to do a better job of reading and understanding next time, before you start denying what you know is true.

          • Common Core development was started by the National Governor’s Association well after the book you’re referring to was published.

            That’s a easily verifiable public fact.

            It was pointed out that you were wrong.

            Instead of doing a basic level of research, and realizing you were wrong, you doubled down on your ignorance and tried to claim I was wrong.

            Common Core didn’t exist in 2005. The textbook you’re referring to does *NOT* use Common Core standards. Common Core standards do not cover science subject.

            You’re completely wrong, and basic research on the subject of Common Core proves it. But keep trying to defend your stupidity.

  3. I’m a retired science teacher. Kids had no problem with the math problems I gave them because I taught them a process to find the answer.

    In math classes they are more focused on the “process” which is great if you’re teaching math-based kids who will go on to college degrees that need that skill.

    But it’s worthless for a kid trying to make change or figure out construction dimensions.

    Rote learning is no fun, but it has it’s place.

    Another case of folks with an agenda but in serious need of a reality check!

  4. I had a math teacher friend show me how this common core math stuff works…….it struck me as a way to make something easy into something complex. It is not surprising to me that the math scores are falling.

  5. 1) Common Core wasn’t a federal initiative. It’s not, and never was, “Obama’s”.

    2) Scores increased for several years, and as states have repealed Common Core, peaked and started falling. The general breakdown in this article, and not a state by state breakdown, isn’t going to provide an accurate view of the results.

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