Common Core FAQ’s Part 6

Common Core FAQ's Part 6

Common Core FAQ’s Part 6

Question #6: Is there any evidence that centralized education works better than decentralized education?

Answer: In the United States, experimenting with centralized reform has done almost nothing to improve the performance of students. From 1971 to 2008, American students’ scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessments have only improved 3.4% and reading scores just 1%, despite billions of federal education dollars spent.6 In 2011, the Cato Institute found that the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds has not improved since the beginning of federal education spending in 1958.7

On the other hand, deliberate decentralization of education in Finland has produced one of the foremost systems in the world, with Finland’s students ranking at the top of international assessment charts in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009.8

The success of homeschooling in America offers domestic proof of the benefits of decentralized education. In 2013, Robert Kunzman of Indiana University and Milton Gaither of Messiah College reviewed 10 independent studies that found that homeschoolers outrank their traditionally schooled counterparts in collegiate grade point average, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and strength of religious and political views.9

The evidence indicates that the designers of the Common Core have chosen the worst possible approach to make students “college –and career-ready.”

6. See the Long-Term Trend analysis tool at,accessed June 13, 2013. This analysis reflects the test scores of 13 year-old students.

7. Andrew J. Coulson, “The Impact of Federal Involvement in America’s Classrooms.” Cato Institute, February 10, 2011, accessed June 13, 2013,

8. Samuel E. Abrams, “The Children Must Play.” New Republic, January 28, 2011, accessed June 13, 2013,; The Programme for international Student Assessment (PISA) (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2000), 69; The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2009), 14.

9. Robert Kunzman and Milton Gaither, “Homeschooling: A Comprehensive Survey of the Research.” The Journal of Educational Alternatives 2, no. 1 (2013): 29-30


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