0230_William Bennett, What Watered Down Massachusetts Standards? (Answer: Common Core) – introductory email commentary by Donna Garner_ article by Shane Vander Hart, May 11, 2017

Donna Jack
July 9, 2017

Donna Jack NOTE:  Common Core was firmly established as federal law through ESSA December 10, 2015.  ESSA is the federal law that proponents, and those who voted for it, claimed brought local control to education.   See links to ESSA summary, law, and audio of summary at bottom of this blog piece.  “Search” other blogs on this site about ESSA, Betsy DeVos; Jeb Bush; FEE (Jeb’s Foundation for Excellence in Education); Sandra Stotsky; Common Core; No Child Left Behind (NTLB); etc.

Massachusetts was a model for the nation.  In the 1990s the state’s standards were raised above the other states, followed by dramatic improvement in their academic accomplishments.  They had better academic education than all the other states.  Then Massachusetts’ education began to fail even more dramatically than it had improved.

Read Donna Garner’s commentary below and link to the article by Shane Vander Hart that she references.  His article is about the dramatic decline in Massachusetts’ education, and Bill Bennett’s apparent ignorance of why Massachusetts “has begun watering down some of its rigorous standards and that performance is starting to backslide.


From: Donna Garner <wgarner1@hot.rr.com>
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 8:12 AM

5.11.17 – Truth in American Education


William Bennett, What Watered Down Massachusetts Standards?

Former Secretary of Education, author, and radio personality William Bennett has been a vocal cheerleader for the Common Core State Standards. He recently authored an op/ed at FoxNews.com that lauded the Every Student Succeeds Act, President Donald Trump, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

He then says something that I find utterly fascinating.

“Although daunting, this is not an insurmountable task. Several states have done an excellent job at reforming and improving education outcomes. Take Massachusetts, for example. In the 1990s, the Bay State dramatically raised standards, improved accountability and raised the bar for teacher certification. Within several years, it became the nation’s leader in education and on par with some of the leading countries in the world. (However, there is a legitimate concern today that Massachusetts in has begun watering down some of its rigorous standards and that performance is starting to backslide.)”

Well, I wonder what caused Massachusetts to backslide? How did they begin to water down their rigorous standards? Hmmmm……

Oh yeah, they adopted the Common Core State Standards. Even the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe at the time said they were dumbing down Massachusetts’ academic standards by replacing them with Common Core. Yes, the same Common Core that Bill Bennett has tirelessly advocated for.

Bill Bennett, thanks for jumping on the bandwagon seven years too late. You are now just noticing what those of us fighting Common Core years ago saw – they are subpar.

 Donna Garner


Link to summary of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed  12/10/15
Listen to the summary of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 12/10/15
Link to  entire text of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed 12/10/15

Pdf of entire text of ESSA Dec 10 2017_PLAW-114publ95 found at https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ95/PLAW-114publ95.pdf



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