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Standardized Teaching = Top Test Scores?

by Maggie McKneely • November 6, 2018

The creators of the ACT test just released more proof that the Common Core standards are an education train wreck. According to the new report, ACT scores are the lowest that they’ve been in decades.

Only 40 percent of 2018 graduates passed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math, down from 46 percent in 2012. That means that only 40 percent of this year’s high school graduates adequately demonstrated that they would be able to succeed in a first-year college-level math course.

English readiness was also down, with only 60 percent passing the benchmark. According to the report, that’s the lowest it’s been since the test’s creation. In fact, almost every statistic that the test measures, including the success of minority and underserved students and STEM readiness, has been following a downward trend for several years.

The Education Fix that Failed

Part of the blame for these results can be placed on the adoption of the Common Core standards. Common Core was once touted as the savior of the public education system, but it hasn’t worked.

Common Core was introduced in 2009 as a national set of curriculum standards, and by 2011 had been adopted by 45 states. But this rapid approval waned after the standards became a toxic political subject. Since then Common Core has largely passed out of regular news coverage.

Many local school districts have rewritten and modified the original Common Core since they were first introduced, and have even renamed them, so that they are no longer recognizable as the original, now-controversial standards.

But despite the changes, the standards and their underlying philosophy remain in place in most states. At the heart of Common Core is a one-size-fits-all curriculum, with little room for individualized education. When teachers are forced to teach each of their students the same material in the same way, it should not be a surprise when many of those students fail to thrive academically, or when national test results decline.

Hope through Homeschooling

While test scores do not ultimately determine a student’s success, numerous reports have highlighted the fact that homeschoolers outperform their public school peers. In a soon-to-be-released study, researcher Lindsey Burke found that out of 38 peer-reviewed studies on homeschool academic achievement, 36 of them found a positive or neutral correlation between homeschooling and high test scores.

Part of the reason homeschooling succeeds is that parents know that every child learns differently. Unlike the Common Core, home education allows for individualized education that caters to each child’s needs and abilities.

That’s why we at HSLDA champion educational freedom. Every child deserves a chance to succeed, whether they’re homeschooled or in private or public school. They deserve an education best suited to them and their family, not one standardized by the federal government.

Maggie McKneely

Federal Relations Liaison

Maggie McKneely travels regularly to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and to encourage them to preserve homeschool freedom.

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