Some test questions for Duval County school policymakers who voted to replace textbooks with worksheets downloaded from the EngageNY website in an attempt to maximize test scores that measure proficiency in Common Core national standards.
Q. 1) How much did New York test scores rise two years after using EngageNY?
Answer: Negligible to none.
For 2014, state language results: 31.4 percent deemed proficient compared to 31.3 the previous year. Overall math scores only slightly better: a jump to 35.8 percent from 31.4. But here’s the rub, small or no gain for black students: Math proficiency 19.3 percent, up from 16.1; language 18.6 up from 17.2. Language levels in the largest urban districts: Buffalo at 12.2 percent from 12.1; Syracuse at 8.5 percent, same as previous year; Rochester at 5.7 percent from 5.6; New York City at 29.4 percent from 27.4.
Q. 2) Who is pushing the Common Core Curriculum and why?
Answer: The Business Roundtable, an organization of chief executives from the nation’s biggest corporations, and elected officials of federal, state and local governments who genuflect before them.
The “why” can be found in papers from APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation), which describes itself as a group of corporate representatives from “economies” (rather that nations) with Pacific borders. The gist of a 1997 APEC presentation:
· Business must determine education content to prepare for the severe realities of the global economy where industries move from country to country in search of higher profits from low-pay, high-skill workers.
· Education’s scope for the majority of future “human capital” must be narrowly focused because the majority of future jobs will not require college, but laborers conditioned with good attitudes—those willing to work long hours for low pay. The presenter noted Malaysia’s ability to develop such a labor pool from poor rural areas that provide minimal schooling.
· High stakes testing is an effective sorting system to resign students to lower paying vocational/technical jobs.
If throngs of critics are correct, EngageNY’s Common Core curriculum is a mind-numbing, narrowly focused education approach—just what the corporate elite ordered.
Scary stuff when you consider how this fits into a Trans-Pacific “free-trade” pact, just approved by Congress, that gives corporations specific legal rights denied to labor unions, civic groups and public interest groups.