The Omega Three of educational snake oil


But I get to hire thirty new administrators to implement it

But I get to hire thirty new administrators to implement it

Brookings Institute study: Common Core claims are bogus.

Bad news for supporters of national education curriculum: States with education standards most closely aligned to Common Core fared worse on math tests than states with their own standards, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by the Brookings Institution, compared standardized test scores for all 50 states over the last five years. It found that states using education standards that are most dissimilar to Common Core tended to score the highest on math.

Though the difference is small, it nevertheless undermines the claims of Common Core’s high profile backers, which include President Obama’s Department of Education, several moderate Republican governors, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Supporters of Common Core argue that strong, effective standards will sweep away such skepticism by producing lasting, significant gains in student learning” wrote the study’s authors. “So far at least–and it is admittedly the early innings of a long ball game–there are no signs of such an impressive accomplishment.”

States that followed a hybrid approach to standards — utilizing some aspects of the Common Core and some aspects of their own standards — fared worse than both full-Common Core states and non-Common Core states.


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17 responses to “The Omega Three of educational snake oil

  1. 2 high schools

    Great thing that Barbara O’Neill, our great Chair of the BOE, is such a big proponent of Common Core!

  2. Mazama

    I’ve concluded that most education “improvements” introduced in the U.S. since, say, 1956 have been worthless or worse.

    Over the past 30 years the problem has been compounded by the low quality of the average “education” major; most of the smartest women enroll in business, law, medicine and engineering.

    The progs can no longer even produce usable high school dropouts, hence the need to import millions of Mexicans, etc., who do not have high school educations.

    • CatoRenasci

      In my 1950s California elementary school, our principal personally paid for the phonics workbooks the state had replaced with “look-say” and carefully hoarded pre-WWII math books we were the only school in the district still using. Insisted on dip pens instead of ballpoints to learn cursive.

  3. CatoRenasci

    American public school standards have actually been downhill ever since John Dewey and his progressive ‘life adjustment’ theories which placed socialization above academic learning. Max Rafferty in California wrote a fun book about it called Suffer Little Children some 50-odd years ago, before teachers’ unions were even a twinkling in a Gramscian leftist eye.

    The Common Core seeks to deal with the achievement gap by lowering everyone to what’s achievable by the median of the low achieving minorities – the mathematics is so weak it makes it impossible to teach chemistry or physics in high school, and the social science and literaure curricula are politically correct leftist agitprop.

    Beware McKersie, a University of Chicago ed school product from the Bill Ayers era who’s a big Common Core proponent. Bad, bad news is this lad.

    • Mazama

      I understand that Bill Gates is an aggressive proponent of Common Core. Why?

      And as soon as “educators” assert that the benefits of Common Core are “settled science” anyone who resists it will be the new “deniers”.

  4. ChillKitty

    Instead of looking at states that are successful at producing literate, college-ready students (Massachusetts!), the committee writing the standards is made of bureaucratic educators who have never set foot in the classroom. The core curriculum is untested and based on lazy standards (no calculus in high school). The classroom assignments are based on “group” work and homework is designed to circumvent parental help (do you know the lattice method?). Be very worried!

    • Joey

      uh…….calculus. What’s that? If you expect the average person in America or anywhere else to solve integrals I think your expectations might be a tad too high. I think your assessment of the CC standards are correct though.

      • CatoRenasci

        Every college bound student should take at least an introduction to calculus after a solid course in trigonometry and analytic geometry. Regardless of one’s intended major, the cognitive ability to learn the calculus is a very good proxy for the ability to do what was (until very recently) considered college level work.

  5. TownieGirl

    Got my Kindergarden child’s math worksheet home the other day- it was about (I kid you not)- “composing and decomposing number bonds”- that’s addition and subtraction to the rest of us. And it asks the kids to tell a “story” about “number bonds”. Wtf? How about solve the problem. I am so worried for my children.

    • Distressed

      I thought number bonds were part of Singapore math (correct me if I am wrong). If so, you may not be so disappointed after all.

  6. Longtime Greenwich resident

    Don’t expect any differing opinions… This Superintendent with his sheer arrogance will never admit common core is actually detrimental to our students. The BOE who is made up primarily of PTA woman will take a stance against the very towering loud spoken Bill McKersie. Remember this is the same Bill McKersie who actively campaiged against certain candidates. He is a political hack with an agenda.

    • Anonymous

      McKersei was hand picked exclusively because of his experience and track record in working with Common Core. Leslie Moriarty’s selling point to the BOE was that he would help the district hit the ground running with Common Core. McKersei’s curriculum Director or whatever she is called is also experienced implementing Common Core. Folks, Common Core is happening here in Greenwich—FASTER than any other district in the state. Too bad you parents didn’t look carefully at what you were hiring when it all was done.

      Kind of interesting the different flavor of the week in this district: first Sterenberg with her cross district racial bent; then Freund with IB, and now McKersei Common Core……lets all watch the student achievement scores to see how all these new programs, computers, curriculum help in the three basic R of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Or, is that too quaint?–Perhaps, i should be wondering how well they work in teams; how comfortable they are with other cultures; and how adaptive to change.

  7. Voter district 10

    Thank you Laura Erickson! Once again you have proven to be wrong. Your advocacy for common core was based solely on emotion.

  8. Once

    As always, the BOE is proposing a new “silver bullet”. “Once common core is implemented everything will be fine and the kids will finally learn something”. These are all distractions bureaucrats throw in front of us to get them to their lucrative retirement packages before the educational system implodes.

    • Inquiring MInd

      Sorry, Once, but that is NOT the case. The common core was created in secrecy (check the articles I mention above) by corporations who convinced the governors of 45 states that this was the way to go. Educators and the teachers on the ground have nothing to do with it. By the way, check out McKersie’s bio. Never taught. Never was a principal. Look what he’s done and where he’s been. Greenwich brought him here to bring us through common core. This is a VERY big deal, and we have all been asleep while it happened.