Just as the holidays began, Education Week published a very important article explaining why Common Core testing causes a collapse of test scores.

Since most people were preoccupied with preparations for the holidays, it probably didn’t get much attention. But it should have because it unlocks the mystery if why state after state is experiencing a 30 point drop in passing rates on Common Core tests.

As Catherine Gewertz wrote:

“It’s one thing for all but a few states to agree on one shared set of academic standards. It’s quite another for them to agree on when students are “college ready” and to set that test score at a dauntingly high place. Yet that’s what two state assessment groups are doing.

“The two common-assessment consortia are taking early steps to align the “college readiness” achievement levels on their tests with the rigorous proficiency standard of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a move that is expected to set many states up for a steep drop in scores.

“After all, fewer than four in 10 children reached the “proficient” level on the 2013 NAEP in reading and math.”

I served on the NAEP governing board for seven years. NAEP “proficient” was never considered a passing mark; it signifies excellent academic performance. Only one state in the nation, Massachusetts, has 50% of its students at NAEP proficient.

It is absurd to set such a high bar for “passing.” It is a guarantee that most students will fail.

Why do we want an education system that stigmatizes 60-70% of all students as “failures?”

Is the purpose of education to develop citizens and healthy human beings or is it to sort and rank the population for selective colleges and the workplace?