Time to be data-driven!
Carol Burris decided it was time to test the extravagant claims of the New York Board of Regents and Commissioner John King by checking the numbers.
The Regents and King made a grand pretense of delaying the date when the Common Core tests will be used for graduation. It is all a charade, she writes.
Consider what would have happened if they had used the Common Core tests as graduation standards this year:
“If these scores were used last year, the New York four-year graduation rate would have dropped from 74 percent to 34 percent. But even that awful rate would not be evenly spread across student groups. A close look demonstrates just how devastating the imposition of the Common Core scores would be for our minority, disadvantaged and ELL students, as well as our students with disabilities.
“The Percentage of 2013 4-Year Grads who earned the Common Core “pass” scores (required for students who enter high school in 2018)
“Low SES (socioeconomic status) students – 20 percent
“Students with Disabilities – 5 percent
“English Language Learners – 7 percent
“Black students – 12 percent
“Hispanic students – 16 percent
“Even if we project 10 years forward, given the expected incremental increases in test scores, far too many students will not earn a high school diploma. A full doubling (and in some cases a tripling) of rates for the above groups of students would not approach an acceptable outcome. We would be taking already too low graduation rates and making them far worse.”
Despite the inflated and misleading claims that Common Core would advance civil rights, the numbers show that the poorest and neediest children not only fall farther behind but the achievement gap grows larger. How will our society prepare for the huge failure rates that the Common Core seems sure to generate?
Burris shows that students in New York persist longer in college than students in top-rated Massachusetts.
Test-based reform is a failure. High school grades matter far more than standardized tests.
“This should come as no surprise. Student grades reflect not only classroom learning, but also work ethic, cooperation and attendance —the stuff that really matters for later life success. How do we increase those behaviors while using sensible accountability systems—that is the right road to travel.
“If our destination is to make all of our students college and career ready, we need to open doors for students, not shut them with sorting and punitive testing. Creating unreasonable graduation standards that will marginalize and exclude our most at-risk students while we implement untested standards linked to high-stakes testing, will not get us where we want to be. It is a road on which too many students will be lost.”