Many Questions to be asked about Common Core Assessment Results
New York’s Common Core Assessment (test) results for English Language Arts and Math for grades 3-8 that were taken April, 2013, were released August 7. The results are not good and cause many questions to be asked:
The Results were Predicted? The second question to be asked is how did both States end up with almost exactly the same results - a decline of about 30%, and that these scores were actually predicted? The New York Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. stated a year ago in the spring of 2012, “the scores would likely drop by 30%.” His Deputy Commissioner Ken Slenz also stated in March, 2013, a month before the test, that ELA and math proficiency rates would fall between 30 and 37% of students scoring proficient.” Amazing, they did!
Why Were the Scores so much Lower? Mr. King’s explanation of how this happened is similar to the comments made last year by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday that the new results aren’t representative of a decrease in student performance, rather it is because “the higher expectations in the Common Core Standards offer a more competitive baseline for measuring how prepared students are for college and careers.” Rochester School District was a piloted Common Core program where they had the entire CC program. Their district did even worse on the test with 95% failure.
Could these Results be Fraudulent – Deliberately Lowered to Achieve an Agenda? Many people are starting to question the accuracy of the results including superintendents and principals. Following this article is a letter written by Joseph V. Rella, the Superintendent of the Comsewogue School District in Port Jefferson Station, New York, to State Senator Kenneth La Valle, in which he questions what really is going on and pleads for the senator’s help.
Why? What Benefit would it be to Have Low Test Results? Mr. Rella quotes Principal Carol Barris:
Why dismantle public schools and encourage charter schools? Mr. Rella does not answer that question. But I believe the number one reason to make charter schools look better is to destroy local control and representative government over our schools – what every good socialist country has done. In the majority of States, when a public school becomes a charter school, it no longer comes under the jurisdiction of an elected school board. It is now under the direction of a private group, a business, or a corporation that has taken over, but it still receives tax paying dollars to help run it. If parents have complaints, who do they go to? If there is no longer an elected official over the school, there is no accountability to the parents. We now have education without representation.
To promote public/private partnerships: When you have a corporation now running the school but still receiving tax paying dollars, you have a partnership of a private entity with the public (government), which is really fascism, exactly what was going on under Mussolini in Italy and under Hitler in Nazi Germany. Why is that so bad? In America, along with the three branches of government that were so designed to keep a check and balance on each other’s power, business has traditionally served as a fourth check on the power and corruption of big government in our nation. When you have both big business combined with big government then there is no check and balance. Together they become bigger, more powerful and more corrupt.
The Sad Effect such Faulty Test Results will have on the Aspirations of Young children: The children in New York spent all year preparing for the test, and in April, they spent two grueling days, four hours a day taking the assessment. Mr. Rella stated, “Today we crossed a major line. The majority of our young children will receive the clear message that since these tests are predictors of college success -- they are not college material in the 3rd, 4th, 5th grades???!!! That message is unconscionable. It is hurtful to our children. I pray it is not lasting.”
We are being Deprived of our Rights: At the end of his letter that Superintendent Rella sent to Senator La Valle, he stated the following sincere plea: "If you believe that any of this is valid, then please help us. We are being systematically deprived of our rights as Americans to appeal. No one is listening.”
You can read the full letter here.