Like top-down efforts to reform education pursued by Republican presidents, the Obama Administration’s Common Core program, in which states exchange essentially national standards for federal aid, is already flailing, if not failing.
In a recent forum at the Cato Institute, Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation said that Common Core does not allow Americans to be competitive on an international level and does not reach basic international benchmarks. Algebra, for example, is put off until ninth grade, while most countries and U.S. states introduce it in eighth grade. Even California has higher standards than Common Core, noted Burke. In a study by the Pioneer Institute, the Common Core standards sets “low academic expectations for college readiness…these are community college standards.”
Neal McCluskey, an education policy analyst at Cato, pointed out that Common Core only focuses on math, English and art. The sciences are left out, although, as research unearthed by American Journalism Center intern Ali Swee shows, the Next Generation Science Standards being developed under the auspices of the National Research Council, look very much like a companion agenda designed to accompany Common Core.
Spencer Irvine is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.
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