Losing to China: US students perform poorly on key international test

Dear Friends,

A very informative article regarding U. S. Students losing to China, Common Core likely significant factor; written by Lance Izumi. Izumi is senior director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute and author of the 2019 book Choosing Diversity: How Charter Schools Promote Diverse Learning Models and Meet the Diverse Needs of Parents and Children. Shared by Donna Garner, a retired teacher and education activist    (Wgarner1@hot.rr.com)

“Losing to China: US students perform poorly on key international test”

Excerpts from this article:

Results for the latest administration of the Program for International Student Assessment [PISA], a key exam given to 15-year-old students worldwide, show poor performance in reading and math among U.S. students, with the Common Core national standards and aligned curriculum a likely significant contributing factor.

The PISA exam tests reading, math, and science. Among the 79 countries where the exam is administered, the top scorers were students in four provinces in China — Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zheijiang.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which oversees the PISA exam, the Chinese students not only outperformed students in all other countries in math and reading, but “the 10% most disadvantaged in these four provinces showed better reading skills than those of the average student in OECD countries, and performed on par with the 10% most advantaged students in some of them.”

“What makes their achievement even more remarkable,” says the OECD, “is that the level of income in these four Chinese regions is well below the OECD average.

Such results should be concerning to every American given that Communist China’s goal, according to Liu Mingfu, a retired Chinese army colonel and highly influential professor at China’s National Defense University, “is to surpass the United States in overall national power in terms of the economy as well as science and technology.”

Indeed, in comparison, U.S. students’ math scores were not just below the Chinese scores, but behind many other countries, including Portugal, Slovakia, and Lithuania.

In reading, the United States did slightly better, but still scored far below the Chinese. As the New York Times noted, “The performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000.”

And unlike the high performance of disadvantaged students in China, the Times pointed out that the “achievement gap between high and low performers [in the U.S.] is widening.”

According to an OECD official quoted by the Times, about one-fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the PISA test that it appeared they had not mastered the reading skills expected of a 10-year-old.

Those students, said the official, face “pretty grim prospects” on the job market.

The PISA trends mirror the results on the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] exam, America’s so-called report card.

Not only did large majorities of students fail to perform at the proficient level in reading and math on the NAEP exam, but the gap between high-performing and low-performing students widened in places such as California.

In fact, in California, the gap between high and low performing students widened by a full-grade’s worth on the eighth-grade NAEP math test.

There is a possibility that Common Core may have something to do with the widening performance gap between high and low achievers. That’s because the gap has increased since 2012, which was around the time that Common Core was first implemented.

The Times cited a Harvard education professor, who said that the blame lies partly with states and school districts, which did not effectively carry out Common Core, and recommended that low-income students be provided with social workers.

 

First of all, such apologies for Common Core sound like the old discredited leftist refrain that communism has never succeeded because it has never truly been tried and that all communist catastrophes are the result of poor implementation.

 Second, remember that the most disadvantaged Chinese students performed as well as the most advantaged students in many countries — and it is a sure thing that those Chinese students were not provided social workers to raise their achievement.

Third, it is simply obvious that Common Core is having a negative impact on U.S. student performance.

Ze’ev Wurman, former senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush and one of the most informed critics of Common Core, has observed: “In addition to being mediocre in its academic expectations, Common Core dragged in its unscientific and discredited pedagogy,” such as the “de-emphasis of fluency with arithmetic and number manipulation [in math].”

https://www.educationviews.org/u-s-students-losing-to-china-common-core-likely-significant-factor/

TO READ THE ENTIRE WASH. EXAMINER ARTICLE, PLEASE GO TO: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/losing-to-china-us-students-perform-poorly-on-key-international-test

Tincy Miller

Former Member SBOE, District 12

Member 1984-2010

Appointed: Chair 2003-2007

Elected: 2013

Re-Elected 2014

Retired January 1, 2019

tincymiller35@gmail.com

www.tincymiller.com

“Flashback: Obama Friend Deval Patrick Pushed Common Core on Massachusetts, ‘Dumbed Down’ Standards”

Dear Friends,

A very informative article regarding Common Core, link attached below. Excerpt by Dr. Susan Berry. Dr. Berry is a conservative writer and contributor to Breitbart.com, she has a doctorate in psychology. She writes about cultural, educational, and healthcare policy issues. Shared by Donna Garner, a retired teacher and education activist    (Wgarner1@hot.rr.com)

“Flashback: Obama Friend Deval Patrick Pushed Common Core on Massachusetts, ‘Dumbed Down’ Standards”

TO READ THE ENTIRE BREITBART ARTICLE, PLEASE GO TO:   https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/14/flashback-obama-friend-deval-patrick-pushed-common-core-on-massachusetts-dumbed-down-standards/

Excerpts from this article:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick may have hopes of achieving the Democrat presidential nomination in 2020, but his decision to promote replacement of his state’s high education standards with Common Core in 2010 ultimately led to its fall as a model for the nation.

The Atlantic chronicled Patrick’s close relationship with former President Barack Obama Thursday, asserting Patrick is Obama’s “rightful heir,” “an actual longtime friend based on mutual affinities.”

That friendship was the basis for the decision by Patrick a decade ago to work to replace the high academic standards that gave Massachusetts its top ranking among states in the country with the Obama-incentivized Common Core State Standards.

Common Core was sold as a social justice reform that – above all else – would close the achievement gap between largely white, middle-income students and the mostly black and Hispanic students from lower-income families.

That effort has failed abysmally, as Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, lamented in October after the results of the Nation’s Report Card assessments showed U.S. public school children have made “no progress” in reading or mathematics over the ten years.

“Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest-performing students are doing worse,” Carr said, according to Education Week. “In fact, over the long term in reading, the lowest-performing students—those readers who struggle the most—have made no progress from the first NAEP administration almost 30 years ago.”

Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, and Charles Chieppo, a senior fellow at Pioneer, wrote specifically about Common Core’s effect on Massachusetts at the American Conservative in May.

While the Bay State had been one of three states to make progress in closing the achievement gap between 1998 and 2009, the trajectory changed when Patrick pushed the legislature to adopt Common Core. 

Gass and Chieppo summarized:

When the Obama administration kicked off its push to federalize public education by making adoption of Common Core English and math standards a condition of receiving federal grant money, Massachusetts acquiesced. It adopted the standards in 2010.

Common Core cut the amount of classic literature, drama, and poetry that Massachusetts students study by 60 percent. The math standards, which Stanford University mathematics professor emeritus R. James Milgram called “shopping cart math,” no longer get students to algebra by eighth grade.

Subsequent revisions also dumbed down the Bay State’s science and U.S. history standards. In 2009, then-governor Deval Patrick’s administration brushed aside the state law that required history to join English, math, and science as a high-stakes test. Instead he pushed new age fads, including educating the “whole child” and vacuous “21st-century skills.”

…As might have been predicted, however, in January 2015, Obama-era Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave a glowing tribute to Patrick in an op-ed at the Boston Globe, praising the outgoing governor, claiming the state of Massachusetts had led the nation in education under the direction of the Common Core champion Patrick.

“In many ways, Massachusetts is now helping to lead the country where it needs to go in education,” Duncan said.

However, Pioneer’s executive director Jim Stergios countered in an op-ed, also at the Globe.

…“Only a politician, or an education secretary playing one, would attribute Massachusetts’ success to Patrick,” Stergios asserted. “The best one can say about overall student achievement in the Commonwealth during Patrick’s terms in office is that it has been stagnant. An objective observer would note significant areas of decline.”

The Pioneer executive director noted that, since the Common Core’s adoption in Massachusetts, “sampled national tests show fourth-grade reading scores, the best predictor of future success, falling more significantly in Massachusetts than anywhere else in the country.”

The state’s SAT scores had dropped 20 points during Patrick’s tenure as well though, prior to becoming governor, the SAT scores had “risen for 13 consecutive years.”

Yet another reason to question Duncan’s praise for Patrick—and the Common Core standards—was Stergios’ observation that, prior to 2007, “67 percent of third graders scored advanced or proficient on the state’s third-grade reading tests… that number is now 57 percent.”

Stergios wrote Patrick’s decision to join the Obama administration in its push for Common Core led to the governor’s desertion of “two pillars of Massachusetts’ original, bold reforms — academic content standards that approached those in the highest-performing nations and a unique accountability system focused on improving district leadership and performance.”

7.29.10 – “State Education Board: Expertise Lost at Crucial Time” – The Boston Globe – Editorial Opinion —

Click Here for Boston Globe Article

Quotes from this article:

“Governor Patrick has purged the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education of the two members who held the deepest suspicions of the newly-adopted national Common Core standards in math and English.

On a number of other issues, Sandra Stotsky and Thomas Fortmann were the two board members who posed the most challenging questions — in public — to state education officials. In declining to reappoint the two, Patrick sacrificed a diversity of opinion that has served the board well.

The Board of Education recently took a big leap of faith when its members voted to replace the state’s highly respected standards with the national Common Core. The board and state education department made reasonable arguments that the new standards would do a better job at getting Massachusetts students ready for college and careers. While the new standards should lead to great advancements, Patrick has jettisoned the two members most likely to raise a cry at the first sign of retreat.” 

Tincy Miller

Former Member SBOE, District 12

Member 1984-2010

Appointed: Chair 2003-2007

Elected: 2013

Re-Elected 2014

Retired January 1, 2019

tincymiller35@gmail.com

www.tincymiller.com