Common Core won’t double the dropout rate.

Alexander Russo published a post “documenting” that the implementation of the Common Core will double the dropout rate from 15% to 30% according to the Carnegie Corporation. The argument is that higher standards will lead to more students failing and falling behind and eventually not graduating. This argument seems pretty simplistic to me and the claims rather exaggerated.

Credits are based much more on grading practices of individual teachers than the actual content being studied. Teachers will most likely adjust their expectations of what “mastery” of the standards is and how they grade. I suspect that the amount of students passing and failing classes will remain relatively stable to what it currently is.

I would argue that dropout rates are usually based on factors such as boredom, lack of success, lack of purpose in school, and outside of school pressures. So although I don’t believe that the Common Core will have much of a negative effect on graduation rates, I also don’t think that it will have a positive effect either.

If we want to improve graduation rates we need to move beyond WHAT is being taught to HOW it is being taught. We need to change pedagogy more than content. A shift to student centered learning with caring adults is the change that this nation needs rather than a top-down set of national standards and the ridiculous testing that comes with them.