Principals in Hawaii anticipate their students’ math and reading test scores to nose-dive in the coming academic year, largely as a result of implementing Common Core State Standards.
Approximately 210 principals reported proficiency targets for their 2014-2015 Academic Plan. Of those, 98 predicted reading and math scores to drop by 30 percent.
Hawaii's current state education system was ranked 13 in the 2012 State Education Performance and Policy Index. The state received an A- for its academic standards in Mathematics and a B+ in English and Language Arts. With such high markers, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that school officials foresee such an ugly collapse of student achievement due to Common Core. One principal even predicted reading proficiency levels to drop by 50 percent.
Watchdog illustrated the average expected performance decrease with the following chart:
The schools have not had adequate time to get ready for the new standards, University of Hawaii Law School professor Randall Roth told Watchdog:
“The centralized, top-down command governance structure has put so many mandates on principals and schools, they have not had time to prepare for the new tests. The mandates are overwhelming to the principals and school community. In addition, many of the mandates are ones that the school community doesn’t believe in.”
Schools will ultimately need time to develop and implement new teaching strategies prior to assessing the success or failure of Common Core. Who knows how long this overhaul will take. In the meantime, it could serve as an excellent excuse for school officials should academic achievements plummet in the wake of Common Core's induction.