Saturday, December 07, 2019
Common Core Is Rapidly Losing Favor Nationally
Back in 2010, administrators, politicians, and education reform organizations set up a working group to come up with common national education standards that would allow the Federal Deportment of Education to compare one state with another and compete with other countries. The Obama administration, led by his basketball playing buddy Arnie Duncan convinced the President to support "Common Core" which included testing and linking student scores to teacher evaluations.
To ensure states would comply with the Federal Department of Education's policies, the Obama administration dangled money at the states in the mist of a recession and states that did not link student growth scores to their teachers would not get the money. The federal government encouraged states to develop "junk Science", like in New York State, that ended up to be thrown out by a State judge. Under governmental pressure. the "Common Core" rollout was a disaster as the major education publishers had no materials or books and teachers were not trained to teach it. Worse, students were forced to adapt to a different Math program that parents did not understand and could not help their child. Moreover, the reading of non-fiction of boring books rather than reading fiction like "1984" was not good as students disliked the books.. Finally, the emphasis on testing has resulted in parents to "opt out" and in New York State 20% opted out with middle class Long Island having a 52% "opt out" rate.
The Common Core saw the Republican Tea Party and the Left wing of the Democratic party both come out against it. In addition, most teacher unions soon realized that the extra funding the federal government provided never trickled down to the classroom but instead was used to pay high priced consultants , develop tests, and even pay for office furniture! The Common Core is rapidly losing favor since there is no longer funding attached to it. With politicians like President Trump and most of the Democratic Presidential contenders are against the Common Core, the future of the program does not look bright.
The Common Core, combined with the Obama administration's support for charter schools who, for the most part did unrelenting test prep that emphasized English and Math while Social Studies and Science were given little time since they did not have a Common Core requirement. Savvy principals in the traditional public schools saw that and many students got a double period of English and Math while Social Studies and Science were taught every other day and even less. The result was an incomplete education for the students..
The New York Times has an interesting article about Common Core but seems to slant it favorably for Common Core and did not mention the linkage between student growth and teacher evaluations so read it with a grain of salt and look at my posts about NYS teacher evaluations.