In New York City, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the state exams in English, and 30 percent passed in math, reports the New York Times. On last year’s easier test, 47 percent of city students passed in English, and 60 percent in math.
Statewide, 31 percent of students passed the exams in reading and math. Last year, 55 percent passed in reading, and 65 percent in math.
Achievement gaps are large: 16 percent of black students and 18 percent of Hispanic students passed English exams, compared with 40 percent of white students and 50 percent of Asians.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said higher standards will prepare students for college and the work force. “Too many school systems lied to children, families and communities,” Mr. Duncan said. “Finally, we are holding ourselves accountable as educators.”
It’s a conspiracy to make teachers look bad and sell more stuff, writes Carol Burris, an award-winning high school principal, on Answer Sheet.
Because of the Common Core, our youngest children are being asked to meet unrealistic expectations. New York’s model curriculum for first graders includes knowing the meaning of words that include “cuneiform,” “sarcophagus,” and “ziggurat.” . . .
If we are not careful, the development of social skills, the refinement of fine motor skills, and most importantly, the opportunity to celebrate the talents and experiences of every child will be squeezed out of the school day.
“There will be tremendous pressure to further narrow the curriculum and cut out all of the enrichment that can make young children smile with anticipation on Monday mornings,” Burris concludes.
New York State Stops Lying to Kids, and That’s a Good Thing, headlines RiShawn Biddle on Dropout Nation.