Sunday, August 23, 2015

Common Core Highlights Educational Failures

When our esteemed Republican state leaders here in West Virginia aren't chasing away companies wanting to do business here, or demonizing Workforce West Virginia for releasing honest data they happen to dislike, or wasting state taxpayers' money on a robo-dial system so Attorney General Patrick Morrisey can spam potential voters, they're denouncing Common Core.

Why do they hate Common Core so much? Because like Workforce West Virginia, it reports honest numbers they don't want to know about. Instead of being concerned with what the data reveals, they'd rather blame the system that bore forth the data.

New tests aligned to Common Core standards reveal the majority of our school-aged kids are lacking in math and reading proficiency. Common Core didn't make them mediocre; it merely exposed an educational system that allowed them to become mediocre.

In America as a whole, our children consistently lag far behind those of other industrialized countries, in just about every field of study.

Given this dismal performance, it's obvious that when you let the individual states set the bar, more often than not, that bar is going to be very, very low. How else can we explain the fact today's high school graduates across the country can often barely read the diploma they were just handed?

Common Core is far from perfect, but it does bring some accountability to an obviously broken educational system. It provides an honest assessment to parents, educators and taxpayers of how our kids are doing in school.

Rather than face cold hard facts, West Virginia Republicans (and more than a few Democrats) would rather attack the bearer of the bad news.

Bill Cole and other Republican leaders say the tests show Common Core has failed. News alert! Our state's educational system has been failing for decades. Common Core just made it harder to hide this failure with lies and fudged numbers.

Some studies suggest that conservative voters by and large are less intelligent than liberal voters. Maybe Cole and his cohorts hope to keep our children stupid so they can turn them into Republicans.

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