TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) – In the wake of a recent report showing U.S. test scores in math on a continued decline, many parents are blaming what’s known as the Common Core State Standards initiative. But experts in the field of education say Common Core isn’t the problem, and may even be responsible for U.S. scores not falling even further.
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), showed that out of 73 participating countries, the U.S. now ranks 40th in math test scores.
“For a country like America, which sees itself as the number one country and the super power in the world, we should be getting better results,” said University of Tampa Education Department Chair Tony Erben. “Is it a matter of putting more money into the education system? Not necessarily.”
So, what exactly are all the countries outscoring the U.S. doing so well?
“Those countries that had significantly higher science scores devoted more hours in school to science, giving kids much more time to do scientific research and experimentation in the classroom,” said Erben. “If you restrict the number of science and math hours then, of course, they’re not going to do as well.”
Out of more than 70 comments on the 10News Facebook page for this story almost half blamed Common Core for the decline in U.S. scores. But Erben says the trend in American struggles with math predates the program.
"You can certainly point the fingers at many things but Common Core wouldn't be one of them,” added Erben. “Common Core hasn't been around long enough to suggest in any way, shape or form that it is responsible for the declining U.S. PISA results that have been going on for many more years."