Common Core Math Will Reduce Enrollment in High-Level High School Courses

Pioneer Institute via a kind Richard Phelps email:

Study Finds Common Core Math Standards Will Reduce Enrollment in High-Level High School Math Courses, Dumb Down College STEM Curriculum

Lower standards, alignment of SAT to Common Core likely to hurt low-income students the most

Common Core math standards (CCMS) end after just a partial Algebra II course. This weak Algebra II course will result in fewer high school students able to study higher-level math and science courses and an increase in credit-bearing college courses that are at the level of seventh and eighth grade material in high-achieving countries, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

The framers of Common Core claimed the standards would be anchored to higher education requirements, then back-mapped through upper and lower grades. But Richard P. Phelps and R. James Milgram, authors of “The Revenge of K-12: How Common Core and the New SAT Lower College Standards in the U.S.,” find that higher education was scarcely involved with creating the standards.

“The only higher education involvement was from institutions that agreed to place any students who pass Common Core-based tests in high school into credit-bearing college courses,” said Phelps. “The guarantee came in return for states’ hoped-for receipt of federal ‘Race to the Top’ grant funding.” “Many students will fail those courses – until they’re watered down,” he added.

Perhaps the greatest harm to higher education will come from the College Board’s decision to align its SAT tests with Common Core. The SAT has historically been an aptitude test – one designed to predict college success. But the new test would become an achievement test – a retrospective assessment designed to measure mastery of high school material. Many high-achieving countries administer a retrospective test for high school graduation and a predictive college entrance examination.

Much more on the Common Core, here.