BY: Joy Pullman

Only Common Core supporters are surprised that one of the central promises they made isn’t coming true: The New York Times reports states are labeling the same test scores in wildly varying ways despite using the same Common Core tests. In other words, what counts as proficient in Ohio still doesn’t count as proficient in Massachusetts, despite federal officials having bribed both into using the same tests using that exact promise to justify their meddling.

“This was exactly the problem that a lot of policy makers and educators were trying to solve,” Karen Nussle, executive director of a Gates Foundation-Funded Common Core PR shop, told the NYT. Imagine that! Billions of dollars later, hundreds of thousands of classrooms disrupted, and millions of children affected, and we still haven’t solved a problem that provided one of the central justifications for doing all this in the first place.

If these people were CEOs, they’d all be in the unemployment line right now. But they’re government officials, so they get to keep swindling us and our children with our own money. Who wants to bet $100 we’ll see them using the same arguments to justify a similar initiative in less than a decade, as if none of this had ever happened? One can see the “remedy” now: States don’t have the guts to “make tests meaningful.” So let’s have the feds do it.

This is not the only Common Core promise that isn’t panning out. Remember how Common Core tests were supposed to be so whiz-bang that teachers would have results fast enough to “inform instruction”? Yeah, well, states are barely now releasing the results from Common Core tests kids took this spring. Not sure if anyone’s noticed, but an entirely new school year is well underway. Children are in different classrooms than they were in April. So much for that.

State board of education candidates in Louisiana are united in complaining that the Common Core test results just barely released there “are completely useless” because of how late they arrived. Sitting state board members can’t even get raw Common Core testing data so they can know how Louisiana children performed on specific questions and start assigning grades to schools.

School Choice Weekly readers already know statisticians figured a way to compare student test scores on different tests across state lines, so Common Core wasn’t necessary for that. Indeed, why again was it necessary? Despite Bill and Melinda Gates recently touting Kentucky’s early results as proof Common Core is benefitting kids, those data are not only too early but questionable. What have the rest of the states gotten out of it but a half-decade-long migraine?

Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute.


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