The fiasco begins with a grand idea, planned with a bold vision. People set their sights on a goal beyond any they have ever achieved before.
There is a deeper principle at stake here. Standards developed in secret without the active participation of K12 educators, parents, students and experts from the start are not acceptable or legitimate.
If most of the standards themselves are not the problem, or if people are really only taking issue with some of the early childhood ones, then it's probably time to isolate the problem areas and deal with them separately.
The Common Core has been presented as a paradigmatic shift beyond the test-and-punish policies of NCLB. However, we are seeing the mechanisms for testing, ranking, rewarding and punishing simply refined, and made even more consequential for students, teachers and schools.
If you were to think of the key things that you would want to do to support learning at high poverty schools, what would be on your list?
Even though the A-F bipartisan panel has done an excellent job of wrestling with the difficult question of how to measure student growth against fixed standards, there are still fatal flaws in this system which determines winners and losers among schools, teachers, and students.
The idea that financial incentives can improve teacher quality in an age of high-stakes testing is dead on arrival unless top teachers can produce gains in the tough schools that are comparable to gains in lower-poverty schools.
Across the country, resistance is growing against public education's increased dependence on high-stakes standardized testing and on exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests.
As the review unfolded, it became apparent that we were not working with a holistic, integrated application of standards. To Rene and me, it began to look instead like a checklist forming a platform for standardized testing.
Government is supposed to be a force against corruption and control by private interests. It is a mark of how far we have come that only in Vermont does one see such a viewpoint expressed on a newspaper's editorial page.