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Mediocrity 2.0: Massachusetts Rebrands Common Core ELA & Math

January 21, 2018

The 2017 update of Massachusetts’ English and math K-12 academic standards represents further deterioration in English, while the math standards are essentially unchanged from the 2010 version.

From the study's press release:

The 2017 update of Massachusetts’ English and math K-12 academic standards represents further deterioration in English, while the math standards are essentially unchanged from the 2010 version, according to the first independent evaluation of the newly revised standards, which is published by Pioneer Institute.  The 2010 standards, which were based on Common Core, led to declining scores on national tests in both English and math.

The new English standards will result in students’ leaving high school with little domain knowledge in areas such as literature, language, and literary criticism.

“These standards rely on process- and skills-based ideas, which brush aside knowledge of Western and English literary traditions,” said Emory University English Professor Mark Bauerlein, co-author of “Mediocrity 2.0: Massachusetts Rebrands Common Core ELA and Math.”  “The result is a set of standards light on content but heavy on fuzzy subjective terms such as ‘high quality’ and ‘challenging.’ Great works of literary art and the history of the English language, not to mention the American patrimony, disappear.”

The standards direct teachers to fill their syllabi with materials drawn from different cultures, but with no guidance as to the enduring literary value of various works.  As a result, sensitivity to diversity prevails over traditional literary and historical knowledge.

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Education