Saturday, February 15, 2014

A bad solution to a non-existent problem

Sent to the New York Times, Feb. 14, 2014

"The common core in New York" (Feb. 14) neglects to say that:
The standards are untested.  There were no pilot studies.
They come with a substantial increase in testing; research has indicated that increasing testing does not mean greater achievement.
The new tests will cost a fortune because they must be delivered online. This requires internet access, and up-to-date computers that will be obsolete nearly as soon as they are in use.

If the common core fails to result in improvement, teachers will be blamed, and there will be a call for more tests and more technology.

The real problem in American education is poverty, not low standards: Our child poverty rate is 23%, second highest in the world among economically advanced countries. The New York City rate of child poverty is higher than the national average at 31%. When researchers control for the effects of poverty, American international test scores rank near the top of the world.

The common core is a bad solution to a non-existent problem.

Stephen Krashen


Amount of testing: Krashen, S. 2012. How much testing?­‐ krashen-­‐how-­‐much-­‐testing/

Increasing testing does not mean greater achievement: Nichols, S., Glass, G., and Berliner, D. 2006. High-stakes testing and student achievement: Does accountability increase student learning? Education Policy Archives 14(1).

Cost of the tests: Krashen, S. and Ohanian. S. 2011. High Tech Testing on the Way: a 21st Century Boondoggle? dialogue/2011/04/high_tech_testing_on_the_way_a.html

Child poverty: Levels of child poverty: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (2012), ‘Measuring Child Poverty: New league tables of child poverty in the world’s rich countries’, Innocenti Report Card 10, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence.
New York City:

Control for the effect of 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. Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13; Bracey, G. 2009. The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit.;

Original article:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Dr. Krashen, for your never ending push-back against the corporate agenda. You must get tired of saying it, but we must never get tired of hearing it, until every last American citizen wakes up and demands that education policy decisions be made by those informed by educators.