Is Common Core to Blame for the Dip in Math Scores?

Vox: “Results from the standardized test known as the Nation’s Report Card are out, and the grades aren’t good.”

“Math scores declined for the first time since 1990. Reading scores were flat in fourth grade and declined in eighth grade. Nobody did better than in 2013, the last time the test was administered. No states managed to raise scores across the board.”

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Is the Common Core to blame?

“The truth is it’s hard to determine exactly why scores on the test go up or down — which is why every time the scores come out, groups pushing various education policies can use the National Assessment of Educational Progress to argue that their policy preferences are superior. The scores have risen so steadily and reliably that finding even correlation, let alone causation, can be tough. They’re sensitive to changes in demographics: The fourth-graders who took the test in 2015 might be poorer or have more learning disabilities or be different in other ways from the students who took the test in 2013.”

“While education is mostly a state and local issue, scores were flat or declined across the board in every state this year, regardless of the individual changes those states embraced. Fourth-grade math scores were flat in Kentucky, which embraced the Common Core, for example, but they were also flat in Virginia, which was one of the few states never to adopt it.”

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