Keeping Score in the Greene-Polikoff Wager



By 08/07/2014

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A few months ago Morgan Polikoff and I made a bet about the future of Common Core.  I had declared:

The unraveling of Common Core makes this flop the most obviously ill-conceived and doomed-to-fail reform effort since the Annenberg Foundation threw $500 million away in the 1990s.

Morgan responded:

At last count, 1 state out of 45 has repealed the standards.

So we agreed to make a wager:

In ten years, on April 14, 2024, I bet Morgan that fewer than half the states will be in Common Core.  We defined being in Common Core as “shared standards with shared high stakes tests-even if split between 2 tsts.”  Given 51 states and DC, Morgan wins if 26 or more states have shared standards and high stakes tests and I win if the number is 25 or less.  The loser has to buy the winner a beer (or other beverage).

It hasn’t even been four months, but I thought it might be useful to report the current score on our bet.  With the withdrawal of Iowa this week from the Smarter Balanced testing group, there are only 26 states that plan to use one of the two national tests to assess their students during the 2014-15 school year.  It’s true that 35 states remain part of the two testing consortia and some of the 9 states that have delayed implementation of the common tests may begin using one of them in the next few years.  But it’s safe to say that several of those 9 delayed start states will never follow through.  And some of the 26 states actually using a common test in 2015 are already making noises about withdrawing.  See for example reports coming out of Wisconsin and South Carolina.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

If one more state that is currently using one of the common tests drops it than decides to follow through on implementation, I will have won the wager.  And we have more than 9 years to see that happen.  Mmmmm.  I’m thinking that a nice Belgian ale would be a delicious prize for victory.

—Jay P. Greene




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