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Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The Lexington Institute released a study Wednesday condemning the Department of Education Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The Lexington Institute released a study Wednesday condemning the Department of Education's poorly managed ESL programs. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)  

Common Core in crosshairs after schools get F

The results are in after an early round of standardized tests under the new Common Core education guidelines — and schools failed miserably.

New York was the latest state to attempt the new exams required by Common Core, the national standards touted by the Obama administration and currently under implementation in most states. The results weren’t pretty: Just 31 percent of public school students managed to pass the test, and students in many charter schools performed no better.

The pitiful results came as no surprise to education experts who watched the same scenario play out in Kentucky earlier this year.

And many officials see the results as an indictment of the pre-Common Core education system, rather than a reckoning for the new standards. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said New York’s failing grades proved that previous tests were too easy.

“Too many school systems lied to children, families and communities,” Duncan said in a statement. “Finally, we are holding ourselves accountable.”

In 2012, 55 percent of New York students passed academic proficiency tests, and in 2009, 77 percent did.

But Michael Mulgrew, leader of the New York City teachers union, said the results were only proof of a rushed approach to Common Core.

“The lack of a thorough new curriculum that teachers could use to create lessons matched to the Common Core has meant that children were far less prepared,” he wrote in an op-ed for The New York Daily News.

On the other hand, the poor showing for New York schools could end up encouraging opponents of Common Core who have successfully halted implementation in several states. The Republican-controlled Michigan legislature, for example, stopped moving forward on Common Core and convened a series of hearings to determine whether the costly implementation of the standards and related testing regime is a worthwhile investment. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has joined many other current and former Republican governors — such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — in calling for implementation to continue.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler, also a Republican, came to Common Core’s defense in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It is exactly what we ought to have,” he said in an interview with TheDCNF. “This got developed as a partnership among a bunch of governors and state school leaders.”

He urged state leaders to resume Common Core implementation, and expressed the view that the national standardized tests would be cheaper for states in the long run, since states would be spared the burden of managing their own tests.

“Even though we are local control committed, locally-controlled schools doesn’t mean that a high rate of failure is acceptable,” he said.

 

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