According to an exclusive report in the New York Daily News, the Common Core testing widened the achievement gaps between high-needs students and their advantaged peers. The Daily News had access to a study by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

According to the Annenberg report, schools with the highest concentration of special-education students saw a 64% decrease in reading scores and 72% decline in math scores. Those with the most English-language learners dropped by roughly 70% in both reading and math.

“Black and Latino students suffered a 56% decrease in reading scores and more than a 60% decrease in math scores from 2012 to 2013, according to the report.”

Before the tests, the city’s chief academic officer Shael Polakow-Suransky, insisted that the purpose of the Common Core testing was to increase equity. He wrote to all schools in New York City, “At its heart, our ongoing transition to the Common Core standards is about equal opportunity.” But now he says, “Anytime you raise standards, the achievement gap for our neediest students gets bigger.”

Well, yes, if you raise the bar to 6 feet, those who struggled to clear the 4-foot bar won’t be able to jump over it. They will fail. They will believe it is their own fault. They will feel discouraged. They may give up, not realizing that they fell because of adults who made the tests so hard that most students failed.

This was a predictable train wreck. The children are the victims. Will anyone be held accountable at the State Education Department or the New York City Department of Education, or for that matter, at the U.S. Department of Education? Don’t count on it.

The only ones who will be punished for the adults’ bad decisions are the children.

And the adults, instead of admitting their errors, will cover up their misdeeds by continuing to make absurd promises that it is good to get low scores because they might go up next time. Or they might not.

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