The “Common Core” testing standards have been a thorn in many parents’ and teachers’ sides since it burst on the scene in 2009.
You might remember it from these “old favorites”:
- Math Teacher Burns Up the Internet With 2 Common Core Equations – And a Raging Response
- Fourth Grader Shuts Down Common Core Problem By Invoking the Power of the ‘Girl Code’
- 8th Grade Common Core Assignment Asks About Alcohol, Sex & STDs. But It’s Not from Sex Ed Class…
- Kid Looks Like a Genius with Matter-of-Fact Retort Why Common Core Math Problem 8 + 5 Doesn’t Add Up
But it appears there’s good news on the Common Core front–the backers of the top-down bureaucratic program are losing the culture war.
The standardized testing agenda was launched out of the blue by state governors without voter input or accountability in numerous states. It was a boondoggle for many states’ education curricula, but a boon for publishing companies like Pearson.
Common Core and standardized testing in public schools are losing Americans’ support. The Heartland Institute reported on the development, which is based on a Harvard study:
Education Next, a journal published by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, found, “[T]he demise of school reform has been greatly exaggerated.”
“Public support remains as high as ever for federally mandated testing, charter schools, tax credits to support private school choice, merit pay for teachers, and teacher tenure reform,” the report states. “However, backing for the Common Core State Standards and school vouchers fell to new lows in 2016.”
The poll results, released in August, show public support for Common Core has dropped from nearly 90 percent in 2012 to 50 percent in 2016.
While the percentage of Americans who support school choice remains strong, there was a slight decline for those who support universal and targeted voucher systems. Heartland noted:
“Overall public support for charters has remained quite stable since 2013,” the poll found. “In 2016 the share favoring charters is 65 percent, roughly the same as in the past four years.”
The survey also found public support for targeted and universal school vouchers has declined, and support for targeted school vouchers, those designed for a specific demographic such as low-income students, is down from 55 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2016. Public support for universal school vouchers, open to every child, declined from 56 percent two years ago to 50 percent in 2016.
Now, the best part. Common Core has a very negative brand in the mind of many Americans:
The poll reports Education Next has for years “studied public response to the name ‘Common Core’ as distinct from opinion about the general concept of uniform state standards.” To accomplish this, researchers asked one group about uniform state standards and other group about the Common Core standards.
“Differences in the responses to the two questions reveal that the Common Core ‘brand’ holds a negative connotation for many people: every year, support for using the same standards in general is higher than it is for Common Core in particular,” the survey states.
One of the strongest signs that Common Core is losing the culture comes from a very unexpected place: Hollywood. A film popular among elementary and middle schoolers that is in movie theaters now is “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.”
The film is based on a James Patterson book. The story details a middle school student’s quest to defeat the “evil” principal who is enforcing–get this–a standardized test. As his motto goes, “teach to the test, not the student.” Sure, it’s called the B.L.A.A.R., but anyone familiar with education knows that the writers might as well have called it Common Core.
In the movie, a heroine gives a speech about schools stifling individuality. The hero boldly makes it known that “Rules Aren’t For Everyone.” The students plot to subvert the principal’s standardized test by exposing his scheme to rig the testing results.
The film subtly undermines the entire concept of standardized testing with a message about the arts and individuality. And that might be one of the most effective forms of cultural subversion of them all.