Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?

nhunionleadersq-590x332“Why fix what isn’t broken?” That is essentially the question that the New Hampshire Union Leader asked in their Monday editorial.  They write:

If New Hampshire were a nation, it would rank among the top in international math and science scores. So why are all New Hampshire school districts being asked to adopt new, untested educational standards?

One of the supposed advantages of adopting Common Core, which includes testing, is to provide a way to compare and contrast school districts based on test scores. But the United States already has a nationwide test by which every state and school district can be evaluated. It is called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Another supposed advantage of Common Core is to raise educational standards. But New Hampshire students excel at the NAEP tests. In fact, a just-released study used NAEP scores to see how states ranked against some of the highest-and lowest-performing countries in science and math, based on eighth-grade test scores. New Hampshire finished in the top 10 in both categories. In science our kids ranked 7th, only a point behind Japan.

On the whole, New Hampshire elementary and middle schools are doing a pretty good job preparing kids to compete in the modern world. But there are pockets of poor performance. Clearly, the answer is not to impose an untested set of new standards on every district.

Very true.  There are a number of states that should be asking that question instead of trying to “fix” a problem they don’t have with a subpar (and untested) solution.