Sunday, June 9, 2013

Protecting children from poverty a better investment than the common core.

Protecting children from poverty a better investment than the common core.
Submitted to the New York Times

Re: Who's minding the schools? June 9. (Andrew Hacker and Claudia Drefus)

Hacker and Drefus' statement that attacks on the Common Core come "mainly from the right" ignores or dismisses serious criticisms from well-respected experts.

They include these points:

There is no rationale for the common core: The major reason for our unspectacular school achievement is our level of child poverty, now 23%, the second highest child poverty level among 35 “economically advanced” countries.  Poverty has a devastating impact on school performance. When we control for poverty, American children's international test scores are near the top of the world.

There is no evidence that more rigorous standards and increased testing improve school performance.

There is strong evidence that that protecting children from the effects of poverty will increase school performance: Strengthening food and health care programs, and providing better support for libraries and librarians is a much better investment than the common core.

These criticism do not come only from the "right."

Stephen Krashen

Some sources:

Child Poverty rate: UNICEF, 2007. An Overview of Child-Well Being in Rich Countries. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Report Card 7. The United Nations Childrens Fund).
Control for poverty:
Carnoy, M and Rothstein, R. 2013, What Do International Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute. 2012.

" ... no evidence that installing more rigorous standards and increasing testing has ever increased school performance": There is no evidence standards and tests have improved student learning: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1). OECD. Tienken, C., 2011. Common core standards: An example of data-less decision-making. Journal of Scholarship and Practice. American Association of School Administrators [AASA], 7(4): 3-18.

Increasing testing: Krashen, S. 2012. How much testing?­ krashen-­how-­much-­testing/

"Strengthening food programs,  increading health care, providing more access to books": Berliner, D. 2009. Poverty and Potential:  Out-of-School Factors and School Success.  Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit.;   Krashen, S., Lee, SY, and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is The Library Important? Multivariate Studies at the National and International Level Journal of Language and Literacy Education: 8(1).

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