To The Editor:

The letter “Common Core Is Good Thing” proves people swallowed the hype regarding U.S. rankings in Program for the International Student Assessment (PISA).

A total of 550,000 students in three states take PISA. Missouri schools do not participate, except informally. However, when they do, like the 200 Clayton students who took the test in 2010, results showed Clayton finished first in science and reading and second in math, above countries like China and Finland.

However, Clayton’s scores didn’t count. One must also note that countries like China handpick only the top 15-year-olds from the top schools.

In fact, Xiong Binqi, a Shanghai-based scholar on education, said the following:

“This should not be considered a pride for us, because overall it still measures one’s test-taking ability. You can have the best answer for a theoretical model, but can you build a factory on a test paper? The biggest criticism is that China’s education has sacrificed everything else for test scores, such as life skills, character building, mental health, and physical health.”

Common Core puts the emphasis on testing students as the only proof of their learning. Think back. Did one test — your ACT, EOC, MAP or whatever — define the person you’d become?

Of course not.

The real truth is that the only ones who truly benefit from Common Core are the testing companies who stand to make a fortune in testing fees and selling test prep curriculum. They are selling you a lie.

Common Core is not the solution U.S. education needs.