With just a few weeks left in the summer, the news regarding the CCSS tests given at the close of last school year are now starting to come out. In New York State the news isn’t good. According to an official state announcement, only 31% of students are proficient in English and math. But it gets worse.
Where I live (at least for a couple more weeks) the statistics are so dismal that I am downright embarrassed. The Rochester city school district is the district I belonged to before I sold my house in 2011. Care to guess how many students in this district are proficient in English and math? Try a mere 5%.
That means 95% of the kids in the Rochester schools cannot perform well enough in math or English to make it as normal, functioning members of society. It would be laughable if it weren’t so disgustingly outrageous. But, there’s even more to it than that.
No Surprise Here
When I read the news regarding the CCSS test scores earlier this week I was by no means surprised. In fact, I was fully prepared to see the results I knew would be announced by the state. Why? Because low test scores are exactly what the powers that be want during the first couple of years of CCSS. Allow me to explain.
As I referenced in a previous blog post, one of the key elements of implementing a socialist and progressive agenda is to purposely create a crisis and then come in as the hero riding on a white horse to save the day. It should be no coincidence that progressives and socialists practice the “never let a good crisis go to waste” philosophy with great efficiency. But this is nothing new.
Author, community organizer, and well-known progressive activist Saul Alinsky believed and preached the same thing. In one of his most famous works, entitled 12 Rules for Radicals (published by Random House, 1971), Alinsky laid out a plan for completing the cultural and social revolution started by his predecessors decades earlier. In his prologue he wrote:
“Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution …”
To summarize Alinsky’s sentiment, the socialist and progressive movement must find a way to lead people into an attitude of total frustration and defeatism; and attitude so deep and profound as to cause the complacency that allows for government to come in and do what it wants to “change” things. What better way to incite frustration, defeatism, and lost hope than to create a crisis?
The goal of the CCSS in its early stages is to cause a crisis among parents and teachers so that they are willing to let the government step in and solve the problem. Therefore, this plan requires test scores to be in the toilet in order to succeed. If test scores were in the high 90s, there would be no need to make any more changes to the system.
CCSS Standards Are Not High
Don’t be fooled into believing the test scores are so bad because the material is too tough. It’s not. Things kids are now ostensibly learning in the 11th and 12th grade you and I learned in the seventh or eighth grade. And things you I learned in seventh and eighth grade our grandparents were learning in elementary school.
There’s no need to take my word for it, however. Recently a school district in Colorado voted to scrap the CCSS in its entirety because, in their own words, the “Common Core Standards…are not reasonable or appropriate in Douglas County because our District’s standards are more rigorous, more thorough, and more directly tailored to the unique needs of our students..”
In a resolution passed by the Douglas County Board of Education the school board went on to say that despite working with CCSS officials over the years, the standards do not “meet the expectations” the district has for its students. Translation: they are not up to par. The Douglas County Board of Education knows its students can, and should, do better.
Real Reasons for Poor Test Scores
If it’s true that the material itself is not challenging, then why the poor test scores? Because the material is presented in a way that purposely makes it confusing. Furthermore, the tests are presented in a way that make them equally difficult for the kids to wrap their brains around.
If you need an example just follow this link to a video showing “new math” as envisioned in a CCSS classroom. This video was intended to be a training video to show math teachers an example of how to present math functions in the new CCSS classroom. As agonizing as it is to watch, it’s helpful to watch it through the end.
About three quarters of the way through, the instructor admits that the lesson only served to confuse her students. It took another student with a bit more understanding to explain the principle to her peers. But here’s the thing: in 13 minutes this teacher could not explain the idea of math functions in a way her students understood. In the old days we didn’t use sticks, diagrams, and leading questions. We memorized. What this instructor could not accomplish in 13 minutes, teachers of several generations ago did accomplished in under 2 minutes.
Now, imagine a student trying to take what was learned in the classroom and apply it to a standardized test. No wonder they can’t pass. If they can’t understand with 13 minutes of pictures and discussion, how on earth are they going to apply the knowledge to a test when there’s no one there leading them through it by the hand?
The truth comes down to this: for CCSS to succeed it must first create a crisis requiring some sort of external intervention. Don’t be surprised that the test scores are in the toilet — that’s exactly what the game plan is. Don’t fall for it, and don’t be foolish enough to see Washington as the hero in a white horse.