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Sat Jul 5, 2014, 07:11 AM

Good Riddance to Common Core Testing

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/07/04-2



Good Riddance to Common Core Testing
by Diane Ravitch
Published on Friday, July 4, 2014 by DianeRavitch.net

A few years ago, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, David Coleman, and a merry band of policy wonks had a grand plan. The non-governmental groups like Achieve, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Coleman's own Student Achievement Partners would write the Common Core standards (paid for by the Gates Foundation); Duncan would require states to agree to adopt them as a condition of eligibility for a share of the billions of Race to the Top funds at a time when states were broke; the Feds would spend $370 million to develop tests for the standards; and within a few short years the U.S. would have a seamless system of standards and assessments that could be used to evaluate students, teachers, and schools.

The reason that the Gates Foundation had to pay for the standards is that federal law prohibits the government from controlling, directing, or supervising curriculum or instruction. Of course, it is ludicrous to imagine that the federally-funded tests do not have any direct influence on curriculum or instruction. Many years ago, I interviewed a professor at MIT about his role in the new science programs of the 1960s, and he said something I never forgot: "Let me write a nation's tests, and I care not who writes its songs or poetry."

So how fares the seamless system? Not so well. Critics of the standards and tests seem to gathering strength and growing bolder. The lack of any democratic process for writing, reviewing, and revising the standards is coming back to bite the architects and generals who assumed they could engineer a swift and silent coup. The claim, often made by Duncan, that the U.S. needs a way to compare the performance of students in different states ignores the fact that the Federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) already exists to do precisely that. In addition, critics like Carol Burris and John Murphy have pointed out that the Common Core tests agreed upon a cut score (passing mark) that is designed to fail most students.

~snip~

Common Core testing will turn out to be the money pit that consumed American education. The sooner it dies, the sooner schools and teachers will be freed of the Giant Federal Accountability Plan hatched in secret and foisted upon our nation's schools. And when it does die, teachers will have more time to do their job and to use their professional judgment to do what is best for each student.

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Reply Good Riddance to Common Core Testing (Original post)
unhappycamper Jul 2014 OP
femmocrat Jul 2014 #1
Squinch Jul 2014 #2

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Jul 5, 2014, 08:36 AM

1. Highly recommend!

Please take the time to read the entire article. It is excellent.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sat Jul 5, 2014, 10:23 AM

2. Kicking and bookmarking to read the rest of it. Thank you.

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