Not Internationally Benchmarked   3 comments

Common Core proponents often say that the Common standards are “internationally benchmarked.”

What an appealing concept– except that it’s not true.

James Milgram, the mathematician who served on the Common Core validation committee and refused to sign off on the standards, said:

I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards, and the reason I didn’t sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations. They were at least 2 years behind the practices in the high achieving countries by 7th grade, and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, course in Algebra I or Geometry. Moreover, they cover very little of the content of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course… They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries…”

Likewise, Professor Sandra Stotsky, who served on the same committee, who also refused to sign off on the Common Core standards because they were academically inferior, has written:

“…we are regularly told that Common Core’s standards are internationally benchmarked. Joel Klein, former head of the New York City schools, most recently repeated this myth in an interview with Paul Gigot, the Wall Street Journal editor, during the first week in June. Not mentioned at all in the interview or the op-ed he co-authored in the WSJ a week later is Klein’s current position in a company that does a lot of business with Common Core. An Exxon ad, repeated multiple times during a recently televised national tennis match, also suggested that Common Core’s standards were internationally benchmarked. We don’t know who influenced Exxon’s education director. Gigot never asked Klein what countries we were supposedly benchmarked to. Nor did the Exxon ad name a country to which these standards were supposedly benchmarked. Klein wouldn’t have been able to answer, nor could Exxon have named a country because Common Core’s standards are not internationally benchmarked. Neither the methodologically flawed study by William Schmidt of Michigan State University, nor the post-Common Core studies by David Conley of the University of Oregon, all funded by the Gates Foundation, have shown that Common Core’s content is close to, never mind equal to, the level of the academic content of the mathematics and English standards in high-achieving countries. Moreover, Conley’s studies actually contradict the findings of his much earlier pre-Common Core study showing what college faculty in this country expect of entering freshmen in mathematics and English.”

The next time someone says that Common Core will increase U.S. international competitiveness because the standards are “internationally benchmarked,” simply ask them what evidence they have. This phrase is misleading millions of people.

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3 responses to “Not Internationally Benchmarked

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  1. For some reason your Facebook ‘share’ doesn’t work… do I have your permission to copy this post to include in a newsletter (I will provide the link… but this is a printed on paper newsletter)?

  2. I very much appreciate your website. I have been looking to find out if charter schools in Utah are subject to these same “standards.” I want to know if a charter school is a sufficient option for my daughter if I want to avoid Common Core alltogether, or if private and/or home schools are the only answer for now.

  3. Elaine, yes.
    Darlene, any school that accepts federal dollars is subject to the requirements of Common Core if that state (or district) has agreed to be part of Common Core. But it seems to take longer for all the federal controls to seep in to charter schools, in my limited experience.

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