“Watoto Wazima”? How Are the Children Doing?

“Watoto Wazima”? How Are the Children Doing?

- in Features, Grumpy Educators

2017 Version

— From a 2014 Missouri Education Watchdog post


Closing out 2017, let’s revisiting the question from 2014: “How Are the Children Doing?” shows some troubling data.

Common Core hasn’t made students college and career ready, a goal touted since the roll out in 2010, as test scores have not skyrocketed to academic improvement:

  • The PISA test scores did not bring great news about the American education system, as the United States continues to hover around the international mean for reading and science literacy. On the mathematics literacy section, the U.S. even notched its lowest score to date at 470; this represents a decline from the previous two tests, but it is not statistically significantly different from its first-ever score in 2003. Overall, American PISA scores on all sections have been relatively flat over the test’s history, with no statistically significant change between the score on each section’s first year and the 2015 scores.  https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2017/04/07/what-international-test-scores-reveal-about-american-education
  • “…the Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government. Moreover, there are organizations that have reasons to work for lower and less-demanding standards, specifically teachers unions and professional teacher organizations. While they may not admit it, they have a vested interest in lowering the accountability bar for their members. With Common Core, they have a single target to aim for, rather than 50 distributed ones. So give it some time and, as sunset follows sunrise, we will see even those mediocre standards being made less demanding. This will be done in the name of “critical thinking” and “21st-century” skills, and in faraway Washington D.C., well beyond the reach of parents and most states and employers.” http://educationnext.org/the-common-core-math-standards/
  • It’s still a bit early to make solid conclusions about Common Core’s effects on recent high school graduates, since it was not fully implemented in most American schools until 2014, but the early results of its curricular missteps are worrisome. Wurman notes that overall ACT scores have slightly declined since 2009, and SAT scores dropped in 2015 after showing no changes since 2007. https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/03/common-core-damages-students-college-readiness/

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