Truth in American Education Common Core, The Great “Leveler”

Dear Friends,

 Article written by Jane Robbins, an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principals project. Robbins takes most of her comments from Barry Garelick’s book. Garelick is an experienced middle-school math teacher from California.  If anyone knows about what it is like to be “in the trenches” watching students struggle with the ridiculous Common Core Math approach, Garelick knows. Shared by Donna Garner a retired teacher and education activist.


Truth in American Education

Common Core, The Great “Leveler”


This is getting tiresome. Every new round of test scores, whether from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or some other vehicle, shows either stagnation or decline in reading and math performance of American students. Every time this happens, we write about the now undeniable connection to the Common Core national standards, which began to be implemented in most states in 2010. The recently released and utterly predictable scores from ACT require yet another commentary on the decline of academic performance and college-readiness under Common Core. 

How many times must this cycle repeat before someone in power is shamed into doing something about it?

Let’s look first at ACT’s college-readiness. According to Education Week, ACT correlates scores with students’ likelihood of earning Bs or Cs in credit-bearing college coursework. This year, only 40 percent of test-takers met the benchmark in math – the lowest level since 2004, and down from 46 percent in 2012. Significantly, unlike today’s students, the higher-scoring 2012 students had had little if any exposure to the glorious reforms of Common Core. As for reading, only 60 percent of test-takers met the college-readiness benchmark – the lowest level ever in the 16-year history of the benchmark. 

As for the straight scores, Education Week breaks the news: “The average math score for the graduating class of 2018 was 20.5, marking a steady decline from 20.9 five years ago, and virtually no progress since 1998, when it was 20.6.” And reading? “[T]he scores in English didn’t offer much cause for celebration, either. The average score for the class of 2018 was 20.2, the same as five years ago, and down half a point from the English-score high in 2007.”

But the hits just keep on comin’. Average composite scores fell in all racial and ethnic groups except Asian-Americans. So Common Core has been a great leveler – just not in the way it was promised. 

ACT’s chief executive officer was in a gloomy mood. “We’re at a very dangerous point. And if we do nothing, it will keep on declining,” he predicted.

So what should we do? Anyone with no Gates funding and two brain cells to rub together would conclude that a good start would be ditching Common Core lock, stock, and barrel – every “informational text,” every “close reading,” every “deeper conceptual understanding,” every “Lexile” measure, every “alternative algorithm,” every “real-world problem-solving,” every “rigorous” standard, every delay in standard algorithms, every delay in algebra, every “collaboration,” every “consensus,” all of it. Surely this will happen now.

Or maybe not. The progressive-education reformers have a lot invested in this experiment, and they’re guarding their interests. The immediate past-president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, an organization that bears much blame for pushing the kind of ridiculous math enshrined in Common Core, isn’t giving up the national standards without a fight. As reported in Education Week, this educrat “said that states have made solid progress adopting the good math standards, but the ACT results suggest that schools need to focus on improving curriculum and instructional practice to bring those expectations fully to life.”

Ah yes, that’s the ticket – the standards are great, so if we only improve “curriculum and instructional practice,” our kids may once again learn to read and work math problems.  This is certainly Bill Gates’s position, and after all he’s very rich and so knows of what he speaks. And this is basically the position of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which recently released a report singing the praises of Common Core. Rarely does such a report get disproven in only a few months. Unfortunate timing for Fordham.

For those keeping score at home, here’s the evidence of the raging success of Common Core:

  • From the 2015 NAEP scores: for the first time in over 20 years, declines in math performance across the board, stagnation or declines in reading performance, and decline in college-readiness benchmarks in both areas.
  • From the 2017 NAEP scores: no improvement from the dismal 2015 scores.
  • From the 2017 NAEP scores: increased “achievement gap” between white/Asian students and other minority groups.
  • From the 2017 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) test: U.S. students tumblefrom 5th in the world to 13th.

The protective edifice that has been erected around Common Core – by the federal government, state education establishments, private foundations, corporations, education consultants, and individual megalomaniacs – has got to go. If these defenders refuse to acknowledge the truth staring them in the face, they are elevating their own interests over those of American children.


Tincy Miller

SBOE, District 12 

Pam Little, Great Candidate!

Dear Friends,

After serving 32 years on the State Board of Education, it is extremely important to me who my replacement is.  That is why I am happy to endorse Republican Pam Little. She is conservative and is committed to protecting The Permanent School Fund, the children’s text book fund, for its constitutional purpose, wants to continue our strong programs for children with dyslexia, and supports our scientific-research-based reading curriculum. She is also strongly opposed to The Common Core education system. I have enclosed her biography below.


What Pam Little Supports:

  • All children learning to ready by 3rd grade
  • Phonics is the way to teach children how to read
  • Continue strong programs for children with dyslexia, helping them to succeed
  • Educating our children to be responsible, patriotic, and productive citizens
  • Preparing our students to be successful with jobs of the future
  • Protecting the Permanent School Fund
  • Local Tax Dollars mean Local Control
  • Teaching Children to learn and think – not to test

Pam grew up in Bryan-College Station, attended Texas A&M, received a degree from the University of Houston in social studies with a minor in business education.

She was a former College Instructor and taught business courses at North Harris County Community College. A Retired Educational Publishing Executive. Pam held various positions in sales and marketing, retired in 2008 as a regional vice president with management and budget responsibilities. During this time she observed the SBOE with regard to creating materials to match the state curriculum and understand their responsibilities. Pam Little started Ace Fence Company with her husband 41 years ago in Houston. Today the business is one of the largest fence companies in the metroplex. She handles the executive financial responsibilities.

Current Community Service

Serves On:

  • Samaritan Inn Board – a homeless facility and program to help willing people regain their dignity through support with career training and financial management classes. It is located in McKinney.
  • Republican Women of Greater North Texas Board as it’s treasurer and have held this position for several years

Member of:

  • Plano Rotary
  • First United Methodist Church

Community Supporter of:

  • Veterans of North Texas
  • Collin County Boys and Girls Club
  • Fairview Youth Theater
  • SPCA
  • Texas A&M University
  • Vickery Meadows Summer Reading Academy

Previous Community Service

Served as:

  • President of Samaritan Inn Board
  • Scholarship Chair of the Texas Federation of Republican Women Board
  • Fairview Town Council Member
  • Member of Allen-Fairview Chamber Board
  • Member of Junior League Advisory Council
  • Member of Finance Committee of First United Methodist in McKinney
  • Treasurer of the Plano Rotary
  • Coordinator of after school garden club program at Caldwell Elementary, a Title One school in McKinney
  • Member of the Economic Development Corporation of Fairview

Notable Achievements

  • Graduate of Allen-Fairview Leadership class 24
  • Received the Spirit of Fairview Award 2016
  • Outstanding Republican Woman 2014
  • Republican Women of Greater North Texas President’s award 2014

Pam and her husband Larry have been married for over 40 years. They have 2 children who were educated in public schools of Plano and McKinney, both have received upper level degrees, associates of arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu and Special Education degree from Texas A&M. Pam and Larry have 3 grandsons and all live in the McKinney area. She and her family have lived in Collin County for over 30 years.



Tincy Miller

SBOE, District 12