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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Common Core Fallout: High School Seniors Dumber Now Than in 1992

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. November 5, 2019

Recently I wrote a missive about the policy brief by the National Center On Education and the Economy which found the American workforce to be the worst educated in the world.

Now we have proof that high school graduates read worse than those in 1992 and two out of every three students are unable to read proficiently.

The 2019 scores on the Nation’s Report Card – NAEP – showed a drop for the third time since Common Core was fully implemented nationwide. The NAEP is a federally mandated test given every other year in reading and mathematics to students in grades four and eight.

From the first NAEP in the early 1990s, there has been an upward trend in math and reading progress until 2015, when there was a significant drop. Reading scores for graduating seniors were worse in 2015 -- the last test date for 12th grade – than those from the initial reading assessment year of 1992.

In Texas the eighth grade math scores dropped more than any other state in the nation. Although Texas was one of the states that did not formally adopt the Common Core Curriculum Standards, the Texas math standards included Common Core math processes.

According to world renowned mathematician James Milgram, Texas had a “a much faster collapse than is the case with the ordinary Common Core states in eighth grade. So the conclusion is that the lousy TX standards are even worse than the Common Core standards by eighth grade.”

He concluded the reason is that once the "process words" are stripped from these standards there is virtually nothing left, and the “process words have virtually no effect on the NAEP type math problems, which actually require knowledge and some experience to resolve.”

In 2019 NAEP scores dropped again for fourth and eighth grade reading and eighth grade math while fourth grade math scores went up 1 point.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos slammed the K-12 educational establishment for their role in the decline. In her statement about the 2019 NAEP results she said,

“The results are, frankly, devastating. This country is in a student achievement crisis, and over the past decade it has continued to worsen, especially for our most vulnerable students. Two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers. In fact, fourth grade reading declined in 17 states and eighth grade reading declined in 31.”

The Council for Chief State Schools Officers was one of the two groups which created the Common Core Standards. Their goal was “to develop College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language as well as in mathematics.” The phrase “college and career readiness” has become synonymous with Common Core and is found throughout the standards.

Not only has Common Core not improved student achievement but has widened the educational gap. A press statement by the CCSSO does not mention that NAEP scores have consistently dropped since 2015 but whitewashes the dire status of student academic achievement with the lame statement that student achievement has not increased as much as hoped.

“States, districts and schools across America have worked hard over the last decade to raise the bar in classrooms with higher quality standards and aligned assessments to help all students succeed. With today’s results, we are encouraged by the growth in fourth grade math performance, which saw a 1 point increase nationally and seven states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity making gains. This includes increases for the 25th and 50th percentiles of students. 

“In eighth grade math, two states and the District of Columbia saw increases.  

“Across the board, the nation’s highest performing students have improved. Students nationally are performing better in reading and math today than in the early 1990s, though reading is clearly not increasing at the rate we would hope and this deserves special attention.

They profess euphoria about a 1% increase in fourth grade math, one of the four subject-grade combinations. Yet their alarm over the decreasing academic achievement under Common Core is clear by their announcement of an urgent summit which is scheduled for January!

“We recognize the urgency of improving outcomes for all students. Therefore, CCSSO will lead a summit of state chiefs joined by national experts, educators and other partners to examine what we know works and what must be done to improve literacy for all kids.”

Obviously these “experts” are clueless about how to educate children so here goes more zillion dollar taxpayer funded experiments using children. After decades of education fads and billions of wasted taxpayer dollars, government education has grown steadily worse and America has become an illiterate nation.

Common Core has been an abject failure in preparing students for college and career. But then that was never the goal. There is a far left deliberate attempt to dumb down and indoctrinate students with socialism to create serfs who can’t and won’t challenge a dictatorial government or the loss of their inalienable rights.

As long as Americans allow all public dollars to be directed to government schools, nothing is going to change.

America is plummeting into the Dark Ages of the 21st century and government education is the vehicle.

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