The test results are in and despite the attempt by the district and the Daily Pilot to spin their way out of it, Common Core has failed. More accurately, Common Core has failed in Costa Mesa.

Here are the stats you won’t read on the N-MUSD website:

1) Of the 34 schools listed on the link provided in the DP story, at least half of the students in 17 schools failed to meet state standards in at least one subject.

2) Of the 34 schools, at least half of the students in 13 schools failed to meet state standards in both subjects.

3) The much ballyhooed attempt to right the ship at Adams Elementary to help attract parents who have defected has failed. Only 22% of the students there met state standards in English and only 33% met the standards in math.

4) Of the 17 schools that failed to meet state standards in at least one subject, all but two are in Costa Mesa. At Newport Harbor, only 39% of the kids met state standards in English and at Newport Heights El, 49% of the students met state standards in English.

5) At the four schools I’ve been prodding the district for years to fix – Rea, Whittier, Wilson and Pomona – only 21% met the standards for English and only 20% met them for math.

But here is the saddest news… Victoria Elementary, a former Blue Ribbon school that was a jewel in the district’s crown, failed to meet state standards in either subject. in fact, it wasn’t even close: 30% for English and 40% for math.

The Daily Pilot reporters for this news failed to report the real story, which is that Costa Mesa is not proficient in Common Core. Here’s the link to the DP story:,0,838148.story

The Pilot’s bias shows once again the opening sentence: “Newport-Mesa Unified School District students’ combined performance on new online state standardized tests in math and English/language arts show that approximately half of them either met or exceeded the exams’ standard.”

The key wording here is the last 11 words. Instead of reporting that half the students failed, which is news because that is a REALLY bad performance, readers think the program is successful.

It’s not, certainly not in Costa Mesa.

But you won’t hear any outrage from the area’s two trustees, Vicki Snell or Walt Davenport. They will continue to toe the administration line and tell everyone that Common Core is a work in progress or some other nonsense.

Yeah, work in progress.. tell that to the kids who will be promoted next year without the skills they need.

Steve Smith