Anthony Cody has written another brilliant column, this one explaining the lessons of New York’s disastrous Common Core testing, in which 70 percent of the state’s children allegedly “failed.” I say allegedly because this was failure that was designed and manufactured by State Commissioner John King. King predicted what the scores would be before the students took the tests. How did he know? He decided what the passing mark would be.

In his column, Cody draws certain lessons from the New York debacle:

The biggest mind blower is that this whole project has been sold with the idea that its proponents are pushing “college for all.” Orwell taught us that in the future, those in power will use “doublespeak” to disguise their intentions. This feels like a classic case of double speak. We have been told a string of falsehoods, leading to a huge lie.

Falsehood number one:
Our future economy needs many more college graduates. There is very little evidence to support this and lots to the contrary.

Falsehood number two:
Common Core Standards were developed by educators. Demonstrably false. See this post of mine from 2009 describing the process then under way to write the standards.

Falsehood number three: The Common Core tests somehow predict who will succeed in college. See Carol Burris’ analysis of how these tests were written.

Falsehood number four:
This high stakes testing machine will somehow decrease inequity and create more opportunities for poor and minority students. In fact the achievement gap on these tests is proving to be even wider, reflecting the powerful influence underlying social conditions have on student performance.

As wealth has become ever more concentrated, and social mobility has declined, it is ever more important to create a social rationale for that inequality. People who are disenfranchised and deprived of meaningful opportunities must somehow be convinced that their second-class status is THEIR FAULT. It is because they have not applied themselves in school, not learned to be “critical thinkers,” that they are stuck in minimum wage jobs. Inequities must be rationalized. The sorting will occur. It must be explained so that it is accepted and not rebelled against.

Read the whole column. Cody nails it.