CA 8th grade drop from CCSS

California, a Case Study in how Common Core Decimates Math Progress

A few years ago, Rep. Dana Layton was running a bill on our behalf to remove Common Core from Utah. The day it was to be presented in committee, she let us know that there had been some changes to the bill. Instead of the bill removing Common Core, some members of the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) had convinced her to change the bill to a parent review committee over standards. An absolutely worthless bill that unfortunately passed.

I found myself appointed to the elementary math education committee and knew others appointed to the secondary math, science, art, and other committees. Unanimously, our experience was similar across all subjects. We weren’t there for our input.

The bill contained language that the parent committees were to have support from USOE staff to assist in the meetings with whatever the parent committees needed. Instead, USOE members showed up at the meetings and took charge of them, squelching dissenting views.

For example, in my meeting, I took advantage of a moment when one USOE director left the room to pass out a 3-page summary I had prepared of California’s incredible success with it’s math standards and program which over the course of a decade had more than tripled the number of students taking algebra 1 by 8th grade. The really awesome thing about this, was minority groups had a 5-6x increase in proficiency, showing they were narrowing the achievement gap. I wanted to have a discussion about adopting CA’s Green Dot standards and replacing Common Core (since this was to be a “parent” review committee and not a USOE review committee).

During my brief run at trying to introduce this topic, this USOE member returned and immediately announced this was not why we had gathered and we were just going to review the K-6 Common Core standards to make tweaks to them such as determining if one standard belonged in a certain grade or a different one. Nothing major was to change or be discussed.

What this bill did was give the state office of education all the cover they desired for the changes (or non-changes) they wanted to make to the standards. Now they could implement Common Core standards in any subject and say, “the parent review committee passed off on it” (a good portion of the members of the committees were actually appointed by them and had worked with them for years).

This horrible law needs repealed.

Now on to California’s incredible success which I posted about in 2014 on this page:

Solution: Utah should adopt California’s math standards

As this graph shows, California was having massive success in getting more students prepared for algebra 1 by 8th grade.

California's math progress

Now the Hoover Institute has published a research paper on what has happened in California since Common Core has taken over.

The article is here:

This graph of student taking algebra 1 by 8th grade says it all. California’s upward climb from their Green Dot standards was working so well, getting students ready for algebra 1 by 8th grade so they could be on track to take calculus by 12th grade, then the Common Core hammer dropped and decimated student achievement.

CA 8th grade drop from CCSSThis incredible drop in students crossed all demographics.

CA minority groupsThe effects damaged the amount of students taking AP calculus exams, hitting the Black community hardest when they were having the biggest increase in takers from the prior standards.

I don’t think this is the social justice outcome the creators of Common Core were hoping for.

This article by Dr. Sandra Stotsky, just published in the New Boston Post, further asks the question if Common Core is racist since Massachusetts also experienced a decline in achievement from it’s Black and Hispanic minority groups under Common Core. It is a second witness to the ill-effects of federal education programs and the consolidation of education into one-size-fits-all programs.

The best thing California and Massachusetts could do for their children is to scrap Common Core and return to the strong education standards they had prior to Bill Gates’ billion-dollar education experiment. Maybe a “class” action suit is in order for all those children whose hopes and dreams have been sent to detention…

What works? Local control and greater freedom for families to do what they know is best for their children. To state legislators and board members, PLEASE, STOP THE EXPERIMENTS!

5 thoughts on “California, a Case Study in how Common Core Decimates Math Progress”

  1. I am so grateful to you Oak for your continued documentation of the frauds around math education.

    In my town here in Longmont Colorado in a brand new upscale mall a Math remediation center stands proudly waiting for the students diagnosed as deficient in math.

    I believe that these polished and well coiffed buildings are the true reason we find ourselves besieged with Common Core curriculums all over the nation.

    When a program is designed to ensure math failure on every level one needs to explore the Machiavellian economic forces at work manipulating parents and taxpayers to fork over even more cash to ensure the little ones are on track with basic skills.

    Here are some of my essays on this topic:

    Jenny Hatch

  2. “Decimates” is the wrong word. That would indicate a 10% drop… hence the “deci” prefix. Perhaps “obliterates” or simply “destroys” would be a better option to signify the more than 50% drop.

    1. I wasn’t aware of that definition, but there is another: “kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage or part of.”

  3. One purpose of CC was to level the demographic playing field. It promotes de-imagination and programming for production like tech. group work. It goes against learning theory. Ever hear trade people say I figured it out by doing? That is the learning style catered to in CC; Application by figuring it out in groups without direct instruction. Learning theory (Bloom’s Taxonomy) , states levels for learning/thinking/depth. Basically, you need to be provided some direct instruction. Next, practice the vocabulary/recognition/understanding, get to a level where you can analyze, THEN APPLY the skills and concepts making organic connections with problem solving situations. Then people can communicate precisely and have a foundation. Also not everybody LEARNS in groups, without direct instruction now disparaged. Also, if you think outside the box, even responding on a computer, without being able to write on the test to make it yours, can be problematic. Some learners need information to start and prefer to learn alone and then share with the group. CC is group think persuasion learning. Consider the ramification of that lens and persuading group mentality. Now consider what’s been going on in CA with group action and little thought (historical narrative and action ramifications passe’).

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