With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, August 16, 2013

There's nothing wrong with Common Core Standards, except...


U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has joined other top education officials to warn the public not to be alarmed by dramatically lower test scores following new testing standards.                                                                                           

There's nothing wrong with schools having high academic standards There's plenty wrong with having those standards handed down from on high and then bringing in multi-million-dollar ramrods on no-bid contracts to "retrain" teachers and principals into passive compliance. There is even more wrong with Common Core and it "rigorous" testing regimen being used to sort and track kids, opening up doors to college and employment to the few and shutting them to the many.

Case in point: The New York Times reports that New York State, an early adopter of the new standards, released results from reading and math exams showing that less than a third of students passed.

Making matters even worse, CC testing is almost entirely in the hands of British textbook/testing mega-publisher Pearson. The Washington Post reports that Pearson just apologized for assigning wrong testing results to more than 4,000 students in Virginia.
Pearson issued a similar apology last spring for making mistakes in the scoring of admissions tests for gifted and talented programs in New York City public schools. Other scoring problems by Pearson in recent years caused delays in final test results in Florida and Minnesota.
Arne Duncan is out telling parents "not to be alarmed" by crashing test scores.
“We should absolutely not be alarmed if test scores drop as a result of these more rigorous expectations and higher standards,” said Duncan on a conference call. “That’s because these new assessments and standards are now aligned to mark and measure what it truly takes to adequately prepare students for the real world.”A source familiar with the city results said scores had dropped by about 30 points. “Very few city kids passed the test. And almost no kids of color passed the test. It’s a disaster.”
Yes, don't be "alarmed." Those crashed scores will only mean your neighborhood school may be closed, yourchild's teacher given a poor rating and possibly fired, and the value of your home bottoming out.


  1. Exactly right. Reminds me of the scene in Animal House when Kevin Bacon gets trampled yelling "Don't worry! All is well" Education is nothing more than a business for testing companies and poorly designed and implemented "reforms".

  2. Destabilizing schools, property values, local jobs AND STUDENTS to enrich a foreign text publisher is not alarming to Arne Duncan? Why doesn't he share the good news that when our college prep kids are compared to others in the world, our kids rank as very high performers.

    Well, that might undermine the effort to enrich for-profit privatizers, but manufacturing a crisis that misrepresents true achievement is cruel, deceptive, and frankly unpatriotic.

    Arne Duncan's tenure as DOE Secretary is encouraging our best teachers to leave classrooms in droves. They want state and federal governmental micro-managers and test-makers to get out of their way, stop wasting instructional time and money, and LET THEM TEACH.

  3. Arne is beginning to panic because now we all know the lie and the hoax that has been sold to the American public. Let's us our most vulnerable children, those located in the inner city, as the ruse that our education system is broken; all the while we can privatize education and make billions for the 1% who are already rich beyond any measure. He needs to resign and Obama needs to stop being silent as they shutter schools, lay off teachers and replace them with scab labor aka Teach for America. Parents and Educators need to rise up together and defeat this now before it is too late.

  4. And here is David Coleman redesigning the SAT for the Common Core. How many test prep courses will an average student now have to take to get a score that probably will not even get him or her into a four year college? A lot of money will be made by Kaplan and the Princeton Review thanks to Common Core. This is the crime of the century.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.