Monday, June 17, 2013

Growing push against common core . . .
In my blog folder I have about 20 articles and posts about the push back to the Common Core State Standards that I posted about  here.  In this Education News article we now learn that Michigan will join Indiana in becoming the second state to stop implementation of  the standards.  In addition, Minnesota has withdrawn from the math standards, but will continue to implement the reading/language arts standards.  This action in Michigan comes after districts in the state have been working since 2010 to align their curriculum with the standards.  I wonder what districts are saying about this decision after this effort.

In the article there is a quote from Senator Rand Paul that captures one of the points critics are using in efforts to get states to pull back from the standards.

Potential Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has called Common Core “a dangerous new curriculum that will only make public education worse and waste more of our money” and describing the standards, developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as “the same old radical Progressive ideology in a new package.” 

Paul and others view the standards as a curriculum, something they are not as we and the other 295 school districts in our state work to purchase, create, and modify existing curriculum to align with the standards.  Though not an accurate picture of the standards, this curriculum argument has gained momentum.  Tea Party activists and others are mobilizing in a number of states to pull away from the standards as describe in this Washington Post article.

Though not advocating a pull back there are other organizations that are recommending flexibility and slowing down implementation as described in this Education Week article.

. . . four organizations representing district leaders called for "adequate" time to prepare teachers to teach the standards, for students to learn them, and for schools and educators to be held accountable for test scores tied to the standards. In their joint statement, the groups did not define how much time would be enough, however. "We must make adequate time for a thoughtful conversation about how assessments can be used to provide instructionally useful information to schools in a timely manner," said the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National School Boards Association.

I have not seen or heard anything in our state indicating an organized effort to pull back from the standards, but a year ago we weren't seeing the kind of coordinated effort currently playing out in states across the country.  We'll move forward with our efforts to support teachers and students and prepare them for common core assessments in 2015.

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