Common Core Exams Put on Hold

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The common core curriculum mandates a common core system of exams.

Most students will flunk these exams. This is inevitable. The results in New York are the canary in the coal mine. The failure rate was 69%. Blacks and Hispanics failed at an 84% rate. Parents are up in arms.

The common core curriculum will not redeem the public schools. It will instead expose the public schools as utter failures. This will not be tolerated by local politicians, who take the heat for the failures in public schools. They will demand that the educrats turn down the heat.

The tests are in the first stage of a roll-back. The Obama Administration is blaming the sequestration.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress exams in civics, U.S. history, and geography have been indefinitely postponed for fourth and twelfth graders. The Obama administration says this is due to a $6.8 million sequestration budget cut. The three exams will be replaced by a single, new test: Technology and Engineering Literacy.

Because technology and engineering are not taught as part of any high school curriculum, the exam can be dumbed down. In contrast, history and civics exams are mandated by all school systems in high school. Here are the exams that reveal how well the schools are doing. So, these will be dropped.

“Without these tests, advocates for a richer civic education will not have any kind of test to use as leverage to get more civic education in the classrooms,” said John Hale, associate director at the Center for Civic Education.NAEP is a set of national tests of fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders that track achievement on various subjects over time. Researchers collect data for state to state comparisons in mathematics, reading, science, and writing. The other subjects only provide national statistics and are administered to fewer students. The tests provide basic information about students but do not automatically trigger consequences for teachers, students, and schools.

Got that? Student failures do not lead to negative consequences for incompetent teachers. That is the kind of examination system teachers prefer.

Students have historically performed extremely poorly on these three tests. In 2010, the last administration of the history test, students performed worse on it than on any other NAEP test. That year, less than half of eighth-graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights, and only 1 in 10 could pick a definition of the system of checks and balance on the civics exam.
When finished in 2015, the Ron Paul curriculum will have two years of Western civilization, with two years of Western literature as part of a four-year curriculum in English. It will have a U.S. history course and a U.S. Constitution course. It will have two more courses in government, plus two courses in economics. It will also have the basic sciences, plus four years of math.

This is the core curriculum which the public schools promise to deliver, and which they taught in 1920. They have spent 90 years abandoning this original curriculum. There is no way that they will ever restore it in a system of compulsory education. Few students were compelled to attend high school in 1920. The smart kids who whose parents wanted them to have a core curriculum sent them to high school. Most parents let their children drop out.

Take a look at this 1912 exam from the 8th grade.

The core curriculum is real — just not in public schools.

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