After an interesting article from US News, it appears as though some are moving towards admitting that the Common Core experiment really was a dud.
Now that Florida has shown improvement for taking advantage of new Trump education policies, while other states that haven’t have remained largely the same, Betsy Devos has some fighting words.
And surprisingly, some of the news outlets are actually reporting it.
From US News:
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION Betsy DeVos on Wednesday slammed the K-12 education establishment for allowing students to fall behind in math and reading without fully taking advantage of the types of “education freedom” at the heart of the Trump administration’s agenda.
“The numbers are reason for deep concern,” she said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “This country has a student achievement crisis.”
Earlier in the day, results from the 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress, also called NAEP or the Nation’s Report Card, showed that math and reading scores for fourth- and eighth-graders in the United States dropped since 2017, with a particularly acute decrease in reading achievement has government researchers concerned.
“This is not new,” DeVos said of the lackluster scores. “Today’s Report Card is essentially the same as the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that. In fact, student achievement hasn’t changed much since 1992. Flat lines. Barely any change.”
In her 10-minute speech, DeVos placed the blame squarely on the backs of education policy experts and those among the so-called education establishment, like teachers unions and advocacy organizations, for failing to sound the alarm and embrace more radical changes, like her school choice agenda, to move the needle.
“Blame the experts who assure us each year that American education is doing OK,” Devos said, “that our schools are good enough. ‘If you just look at these numbers hard enough,’ they say, ‘you’ll see some improvement in some subject for some students somewhere.'”
“That might be true,” she continued, “but they’ve missed the forest for the trees.”
She said it didn’t matter that the drop or plateau in NAEP scores came after decades of improvement or that, when looking at the break-out of student subgroups, the scores over a historical trend line show the narrowing of achievement gaps.
“Too many American students who were already low-achieving are worse off today,” she said. “While our best-performing students have plateaued, those near the bottom – our most vulnerable – have fallen even further behind.”
Compared to 2017, the 2019 NAEP scores of lower performing students declined in three of the four grade-subject combinations, and those drops are what accounted for the overall drop in average scores.
DeVos also bemoaned the increase in funding for K-12 education, which she said has done nothing to benefit student improvement.
“It’s way past time we dispense with the idea that more money for school buildings buys better achievement for school students,” she said. “No amount of spending can bring about good results from bad policy.”
So why is Florida doing better?
Is it perhaps because they have been taking advantage of the new educational freedom offered from Trump’s administration?
It appears as though DeVos thinks so:
Instead DeVos instructed people to look at states like Florida, where lawmakers have introduced an array of school choice programs that allow parents options other than their residentially zoned traditional public schools.
“Doing better began with introducing education freedom,” she said. “Public charter schools, tax-credit scholarship programs, education savings accounts, vouchers – students in Florida have more mechanisms for education freedom than anywhere else in the country.”
Even mega-billionaire Bill Gates is now admitting the Common Core folly.
And why not? Someone who has wasted literally billions of dollars on a failed experiment really should be the first person to jump ship, or at least try to redirect the ship as quickly as possible.
From the Federalist:
“Based on everything we have learned in the past 17 years, we are evolving our education strategy,” Gates wrote on his blog as a preface to a speech he gave last week in Cleveland. He followed this by detailing how U.S. education has essentially made little improvement in the years since he and his foundation — working so closely with the Obama administration that federal officials regularly consulted foundation employees and waived ethics laws to hire several — began redirecting trillions of public dollars towards programs he now admits haven’t accomplished much.
Do you have loved ones that have been failed by the Common Core idiocy? Do they support the Trump administration’s educational freedom policies?