October 24, 2022

Test scores for students in the U.S. have dropped to alarming levels across the country in both reading and math, according to results released on Monday from a national exam. These results reveal the "pandemic's devastating impact on students,"  The New York Times reports.  The math results were particularly low. The scores showed the sharpest decline ever recorded by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation's report card. Eighth-grade math scores fell in almost every state, with only 26 percent receiving proficient scores, a decline from the 34 percent that passed in 2019. These test results are the first to come out since the pandemic. Fourth-grade scores declined in 41 states, with 36 percent considered proficient, down from 41 percent in the previous results, per the Times. The rigorous exam, administered by federal officials, surveys almost 450,000 fourth and eighth graders in over 10,000 schools between January and March, per the Times. Reading scores also dropped in over half the states, with no improvement, a worrying trend that began before the pandemic.  Last year the government made a $123 billion investment in education to help students catch up, the Times reports. "I want to be very clear: The results in today's nation's report card are appalling and unacceptable," said Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education. "This is a moment of truth for education. How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery, but our nation's standing in the world."

April 18, 2022

Florida's department of education announced Friday that it had rejected 54 of the 132 math textbooks submitted for adoption by the state's public education system, claiming some of them taught critical race theory, NPR reported Monday. According to a press release, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran rejected 41 percent of the textbooks submitted — the most in Florida history — including 71 percent of books intended for grades kindergarten through five. "Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics," the press release reads. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) banned the teaching of critical race theory in Florida schools last year after replacing the national Common Core targets in math and reading with Florida's Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST) standards the year before, per NPR. Social emotional learning is an educational practice that aims to help students develop social and emotional skills as they engage with the curriculum. One teaching blog suggests incorporating SEL into math classes by asking students, "How did today's math make you feel?" DeSantis praised Corcoran for rejecting such a large percentage of the submitted textbooks. "It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students," the governor said. On Monday, DeSantis' press secretary Christina Pushaw shared a tweet from anti-CRT activist Christopher Rufo. Rufo's screenshot shows a "K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework" used by Seattle public schools. The framework requires students to be able to "identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color." "This is what we want to avoid in Florida," Pushaw wrote. "The corporate media will gaslight you by claiming CRT isn't really in math instruction, but it is." This is what we want to avoid in Florida. The corporate media will gaslight you by claiming CRT isn't really in math instruction, but it is. And it would be here if we didn't have @GovRonDeSantis @EducationFL taking action to prevent it.— Christina Pushaw 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) April 18, 2022



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