I just read some remarkable spin today over at EdSource. I originally pointed to an article they published warning California policymakers and parents to use the Smarter Balanced scores “with caution.” As expected the scores were stagnant.
But there’s a bright spot! 3rd Graders scores are improving!
Third-graders’ relatively high scores on the statewide assessments, administered in the spring of 2017 and released last week, indicated that the Common Core standards — which those children have been learning since kindergarten — may be having a positive impact on math education.
Nearly 47 percent of 3rd-graders met or exceeded the math standards, the highest number of any grade level. By comparison, only 32.14 percent of 11th-graders — who spent most of their school years studying the old standards — met or exceeded standards.
Third-graders have shown steady improvement since 2015, when the Smarter Balanced test was first introduced. In 2015, 40 percent met or exceeded standards, and last year 46 percent did.
Some are getting excited about less than one-half of California’s third graders meeting and exceeding standards. Also, apparently the definition of “relatively high” has changed. These students have been under Common Core since the beginning and still, only 47 percent meet or exceed the standards.
In 2016, 46 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards. As fourth-graders this year only 40.45 percent do. In 2015, 40 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards, but as fifth-graders this year only 33.83 percent do.
So the only thing I see here is that students’ collective scores worsen the longer they are under Common Core.
But sure, cling to that “glimmer of hope.”