Impending Disaster in American Education: Exxon Mobil Ad Supports a Failed Promise

Below is a press release that was sent out by American Principles Project.

Washington, DC – Today, the American Principles Project responded to a new ad aired for the National Education Association (NEA) and funded by Exxon Mobil. “It is ironic that Exxon is supporting the Common Core even though those standards undermine the goals of preparing more children for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) studies and closing achievement gaps,” said Emmett McGroarty, Education Director at the American Principles Project.

“In order to be admitted to a STEM program, students need to have completed at least pre-calculus and ideally calculus by the end of high school. When children are not prepared to take algebra I at the start of eighth grade, they have to accelerate three years of math into two years in order to be prepared for calculus by twelfth grade,” observed Ze’ev Wurman, a former U.S. Education Department official and an expert on math standards. “As is, the Common Core does not include even pre-calculus expectations. This makes for a significant disadvantage for children from economically disadvantaged communities because they cannot afford the private tutoring and courses to help them negotiate the accelerated learning.”

Wurman continued, “In contrast, when California moved algebra I to eighth grade, and set K-7 expectations so that all students will be prepared for it, the achievement gap dramatically narrowed – economically disadvantaged students posted achievement gains more than twice those of their wealthier peers.”

“What Exxon Mobil likely has in mind is the promise of the Common Core, not its reality. Two private associations developed the standards in response to a federal grant competition that expressly called on states to ‘prepare more students for advanced study and careers in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including by addressing the needs of underrepresented groups and of women and girls in the areas of science technology, engineering and mathematics,’” said Mr. McGroarty. “Sadly, the Common Core failed to fulfill that promise.”

You can see the ad here.