Nearly 1 Decade Later, We Finally See Full Damage of Common Core


I dunno ’bout you, but as a millennial, I don’t get what the big commodition about Common Core is. Everyone seems to be all mad that Barack Obama changed our educational system and stuff. I mean, the dude was the president of the United Airlines. Who better than him to tell us kids what we should be learning ‘n stuff?

I can remember him announcing it just nine years ago. I remember it clearly because my dad turned on that show called the news or whatever (I think it’s a reality program or something, because it’s on every night, but nobody never gets to vote nobody off or anything. That really stinks because that creepy George Snuffleupagus guy definitely needs to go).

“If you set and enforce rigorous and challenging standards and assessments; if you put outstanding teachers at the front of the classroom; if you turn around failing schools — your state can win a Race to the Top grant that will not only help students outcompete workers around the world, but let them fulfill their God-given potential,” I think he said. I just looked it up on my iPhone or whatever, and that sounds about right.

Anyways, he said that stuff back in 2009 and I was like, “Can we turn back to ‘Wild ‘n Out’ already, dad? It’s like, I’ve been watching this for like at least three minutes and I haven’t seen that Obama dude or Chester Hold or whatever get kicked in someplace uncomfortable.”

Well, I was young back then, but apparently this Commoner Core thing was supposed to help me fulfill my dog-given potential or something. I think it did pretty well, if you ask me — I’ve figured out the best sites on the dark web where you can buy term papers from and all that. But apparently, all of these conservatismists who still think there are less than 10 genders all say the program is screwing up or something.

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Take this woman Joy Pullmann, editor at something called The Federalist and author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids.” That thing sounds like a real buzzkill and it didn’t even have any pictures when I looked at a preview of it on Amazon, so you can forget about me buying it. I’m still only about halfway through that Trevor Noah book with all of Trump’s tweets, anyway.

But anyway, my friend Brock from the College Republicans sent me this thing she wrote this week and it sounds like she actually thinks Obama screwed up with this whole Core thing or whatever.

I figured she was a racist or something, since my teacher said everyone who doesn’t agree with Obama is usually heavy into bigamy, but she kept on using all these words that totally didn’t sound like she was a KKKK member.

“So here we are, nine years later. Common Core has been officially rolled out into U.S. public and even many private schools for at least three to five years now,” this Pullman lady wrote. “Are American children increasingly prepared for the ‘the challenges of the 21st century’? We’re actually seeing the opposite. They’re increasingly less prepared. And there’s mounting evidence that Common Core deserves some of the blame.”

Do you think Common Core has been bad for American students?

What? How bad could it be? Well, apparently it’s reduced our scores on the SAT and the ACT-UP tests or something.

“ACT scores released earlier this month show that students’ math achievement is at a 20-year low. The latest English ACT scores are slightly down since 2007, and students’ readiness for college-level English was at its lowest level since ACT’s creators began measuring that item, in 2002. Students’ preparedness for college-level math is at its lowest point since 2004,” she wrote.

“SAT scores also dropped post-Common Core until it fully implemented a new version tailored for Common Core. How convenient. Even after the test was overhauled to match Common Core, average test scores increased by 0.7 percent in the most recent results. It represents almost no difference to pre-Common Core results, and the public can’t know exactly how the scores were recentered and altered, either.”

Yeah, but that’s just tests, right? I mean, I can read and rithmatic real good and so can everyone else I know.

But that’s not what Pullmann said: “Almost a year ago I wrote about the latest round of international tests that publish every five years. They showed U.S. fourth graders declining on reading achievement. The 2015 results on the most reliable nationwide U.S. test showed the ‘first ever significant decline of 2-3 points — about a quarter of a grade-level worth – in mathematics at both grades 4 and 8, and in grade 4 reading.” The next iteration of that test showed no gains again.

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“During the Obama administration, writes Harvard professor Paul Peterson, ‘No substantively significant nationwide gains were registered for any of the three racial and ethnic groupings in math or reading at either 4th or 8th grade.’”

Oh yeah, and there’s a bunch of other stuff about how we’re being indoctrinated and stuff. Which, duh, I’ve been receiving my indoctrinations for years. Mom makes me get flu shots every winter.

“Just recently, Rick Hess and Grant Addison wrote about what’s happened to people who have worked for and led organizations that received millions from Obama’s Common Core grants and from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which also bankrolled Common Core,” Pullmann wrote.

“At its annual Standards Institute, a prominent conference to teach teachers how to teach Common Core, the organization UnboundEd ‘slathers its Common Core workshops with race-based rancor and junk science,’ providing a ‘snapshot … into the ongoing transformation of ‘school reform.’

“To keep their teaching licenses, many teachers have to regularly attend conferences like these for usually taxpayer-sponsored ‘professional development.’ Nowadays teacher licensing mandates often specifically require teachers to learn Common Core-themed things. So basically, to keep their jobs, teachers have to learn more about Common Core.”

Pfft, whatevs dude. I’m fine hearing about all of the 72 genders. Learning about what “maverique” is sure beats doing actual schoolwork. If that’s what Common Core is all about, then count me in. Apparently people want to vote in politicians that would undo all of this and make us do like, actual studying. What kind of nonsense is that?

Now, excuse me, but I’ve got to kick it — I need to buy me a paper about the American Revolutionary War. Did you know we used to like, actually be British until we weren’t? That’s friggin’ wild, man. Can’t wait to read about it when I get the report.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture