Here is a standard mathematics question: add 26 plus 17. Here is a typical math question on Common Core: add 26 plus 17 by breaking apart numbers to make a 10. Does this make sense to you? It ostensibly does to the civil servants who came up with a bold new education strategy to improve test scores and make learning more fun. Of course, like everything else the government comes up with, the results have been disastrous; children are failing, and parents are getting headaches just reading the homework. But bureaucrats think the system deserves an A+, and if you doubt their brilliance then you’re “anti-science,” as Bill “Not the Science Guy” Nye recently asserted.
…like everything else the government comes up with, the results have been disastrous.
Well, you can count Florida as anti-science because it is leading the charge in dismantling these standards and returning to the way math has been taught and used since 3000 B.C.
Make Math Great Again
Won’t somebody please think of the children! It looks like Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is. The newly-elected governor has ordered Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to end Common Core standards and establish a new system to educate the state’s kids. DeSantis explained that one of the biggest complaints he heard on the campaign trail was this leftist boondoggle.
“We stuck with Common Core. Then we re-branded it. It’s all the same. It all needs to be looked at, it all needs to be scrutinized.
You would have situations where the parents did not like some of the curriculum, I mean they had trouble even doing basic math to help their kids. With Common Core a lot of people just didn’t feel like anyone was listening to them, and I think that’s a big, big problem.”
The governor confirmed that education standards will not change in 2019 because he wants to seek input from parents and teachers over the next year. Moreover, DeSantis requested the commissioner to spend the next year finding ways to increase instructional quality, streamline testing, and prioritize civic education. An official comprehensive reform plan will be presented in the legislature next year. He also announced a workforce education program that focuses on in-demand skills, as well as a faster path to attaining an associate’s degree at a state university or college.
Flunking Common Core
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently declared that Common Core was dead at the Department of Education. While the rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated, this is a great sentiment to have at the top.
In 2009, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers established Common Core. Interested by the initiative, the Obama administration encouraged states to adopt these standards by offering governors Race to the Top grant money, another example of federal overreach. Without hesitation and further research, and seduced by the bribe, 42 states plus the District of Columbia committed to implementation.
How are the students performing? The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the nation’s report card, assesses four categories: fourth-grade math and reading, and eighth-grade math and reading. In 2015, there was a two- to three-point decline. In 2017, three sections were flat, and eighth-grade reading experienced just a single point jump.
In other words, the system is treading water.
The top-down vision of the anointed has turned out to be a bust. And, likely a blow to their egos, the left-leaning education policy bureaucrats realize common folk were right all along. States are finally listening to the people as officials witness the disastrous results of discovery math and increased standardized testing. In recent years, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and South Carolina have repealed Common Core. With half the country dissatisfied with K-12 education, you can expect more to follow.
A Big Fat F
Groucho Marx famously quipped that the art of politics “is looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”
Education has been the victim of politics. Politicians want to impose their grand plan on students, teachers’ unions want more money for less work, and bureaucrats are routinely experimenting with progressivism on young minds. Is it any surprise that the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world, achieving less with more? While drag queen story time and activism are infiltrating American elementary classrooms, Japanese primary schools are strategizing with memorization, worksheets, and hatsumon (question addressing a concept). Who will survive the growing challenges of the global economy? Kids who are indoctrinated with leftist ideology, or children who are equipped with the resources to thrive in the marketplace?
The state has hold of your kid for 13 years, and this is the best it can do. Let’s get the government out of education, give households their tax dollars back, and offer parents more choice. These are the only reasonable reparations after decades of failure.