The Problems with the Common Core by Stan Karp


common core article

Apr 16,  · The Common Core Explained. With all the developments and debate around the common-core standards, and the release of test results tied to them, . Mar 10,  · Even Common Core advocate Professor Jason Zimba agreed this national program would prepare students “for the colleges most kids go to, but not for the college most parents aspire to.” Common Core’s graduation requirements are “not for selective colleges,” he continued. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative from that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in English language arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade.

Common Core State Standards - Articles, Books, Resources

The rollout of the Common Core common core article seemed more like a marketing campaign than an educational plan. A look at the funders, origins, and uses of the new standards shows why the pushback is building.

President Obama's speech about the Zimmerman acquittal in Trayvon Martin's murder—and Cornel West's response—are rich sources for students learning how to analyze, evaluate, and critique. For almost two decades, teachers have looked to Reading, Writing, and Rising Up as a trusted text to integrate social common core article teaching in language arts classrooms.

This new and expanded edition collects the best articles dealing with race and culture in the classroom that common core article appeared in Rethinking Schools magazine. The trouble with the Common Core is not primarily what is in these standards or what's been left out, common core article, although that's certainly at issue.

The bigger problem is the role the Common Core State Standards CCSS are playing in the larger dynamics common core article current school reform and education politics. Today everything about the Common Core, even the brand name—the Common Core State Standards—is contested because these standards were created as an instrument of contested policy, common core article. We're talking about implementing new national standards and tests for every school and district in the country in the wake of dramatic changes in the national and state context for education reform.

These changes include:. I think many supporters of the Common Core don't sufficiently take into account how these larger forces define the context in which the standards are being introduced, and how much that context is shaping implementation. As teacher-blogger Jose Vilson common core article it:. My own first experience with standards-based reform was in New Jersey, where I taught English and journalism to high school students for many years in one of the state's poorest cities.

In the s, curriculum standards became a central issue in the state's long-running funding equity case, Abbott v. The case began by documenting how lower levels of resources in poor urban districts produced unequal educational opportunities in the form of worse facilities, poorer curriculum materials, less common core article teachers, and fewer support services. At a key point in the case, in an early example of arguments that today are painfully familiar, then-Gov, common core article.

Christine Whitman declared that, instead of funding equity, what we really needed were curriculum standards and a shift from focusing on dollars to focusing on what those dollars should be spent on. At the time, the New Jersey Supreme Court was an unusually progressive and foresighted court, and it responded to the state's proposal for standards with a series of landmark decisions that speak to some of the same issues raised today by the Common Core.

The court agreed that standards for what schools should teach and students should learn seemed like a good idea. But standards don't common core article themselves. They require well-prepared and supported professional staff, improved instructional resources, common core article, safe and well-equipped facilities, common core article class sizes, and—especially if they are supposed to help schools compensate for the inequality that exists all around them—a host of supplemental services like high quality preschools, expanded summer and after-school programs, health and social services, and more.

Not everyone who gets a menu can pay for the meal. So the court tied New Jersey's core curriculum standards to the most equitable school funding mandates in the country. Funding is far from the only concern, but it is a threshold credibility issue. If you're proposing a dramatic increase in outcomes and performance to reach social and academic goals that have never been reached before, and your primary investments are standards and tests that serve mostly to document how far you are from reaching those goals, you either don't have a very good plan or you're planning something else.

Last winter, the Rethinking Schools editorial board held a discussion about the Common Core; we were trying to decide how to address this latest trend in the all-too-trendy world of education reform. Rethinking Schools has always been skeptical of standards imposed from above.

Too many standards projects have been efforts to move decisions about teaching and learning away from educators and schools, and put them in the hands of distant bureaucracies and politicians. Standards have often codified sanitized versions of history, politics, and culture that reinforce official myths common core article leaving out the voices and concerns of our students and communities.

Whatever potentially positive role standards might play in truly collaborative conversations about what schools should teach and children should learn has repeatedly been undermined by bad process, suspect political agendas, and commercial interests.

Although all these concerns were raised, we also found that teachers in different districts and states were having very different experiences with the Common Core.

There were teachers in Milwaukee who had endured years of scripted curriculum and mandated textbooks. For common core article, the CCSS seemed like an opening to develop better curriculum and, compared to what they'd been struggling under, common core article, seemed more flexible and student-centered. For many teachers, especially in the interim between the rollout of the standards and the arrival of the tests—a lot of the Common Core's appeal is based on claims that:, common core article.

Viewed in isolation, the debate over the Common Core can be confusing; who doesn't want all students to have good preparation for life after high school? But, seen in the full context of the politics and history that produced it—and the tests that are just around the bend—the implications of the Common Core project look quite different.

Incommon core article, NCLB was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and presented as a way to close long-standing gaps in academic performance. NCLB required states to adopt curriculum standards and to test students annually to gauge progress toward reaching them.

Under threat of losing federal funds, all 50 states adopted or revised their standards and began testing every student, every year, in every grade from 3—8 and again in high common core article. The professed goal was to make sure every student was on grade level in math and language arts by requiring schools to reach percent passing rates on state tests for every student in 10 subgroups.

By any measure, NCLB was a failure in raising academic performance and narrowing gaps in opportunity and outcomes. The disaggregated scores put the spotlight on gaps among student groups, but the law used these gaps to label schools as failures without providing the resources or supports needed to eliminate them.

In Massachusetts, which is generally considered to have common core article toughest state standards in the nation—arguably more demanding than the Common Core—80 percent of the schools were facing NCLB sanctions. But the bipartisan coalition that passed NCLB common core article collapsed and gridlock in Congress made revising it impossible.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, with dubious legal justification, made up a common core article to grant NCLB waivers to states that agreed to certain conditions. These same requirements were part of the Race to the Top program, which turned federal education funds into competitive grants and promoted the same policies, even though they have no track record of success as school improvement strategies. Because federal law prohibits the federal government from creating national standards and tests, the Common Core project was ostensibly designed as a state effort led by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, a private consulting firm.

Education Week blogger and science teacher Anthony Cody found that, of the 25 individuals in common core article work groups charged with drafting the standards, six were associated with the test makers from the College Board, five with the test publishers at ACT, and common core article with Achieve. Zero teachers were in the work groups. The feedback groups had 35 participants, almost all of whom were university professors.

Cody found one classroom teacher involved in the entire process. Not a single one of them was a K—3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional, common core article.

K—12 educators were mostly brought in after the fact to tweak and endorse the standards—and lend legitimacy to the results. The substance of the standards themselves is also, in a sense, top down. But there is no actual evidence connecting scores on any of these new common core article tests with future college success. And it will take far more than standards and tests to make college affordable, accessible, and attainable for all.

Today, it means cutthroat competition to get in, common core article, mountains of debt to stay, common core article, and often bleak prospects when you leave. The idea that by next year Common Core tests will start labeling common core article in the 3rd grade as on track or not for college is absurd and offensive.

Substantive questions have been raised about the Common Core's tendency to push difficult academic skills to lower grades, about the appropriateness of the early childhood standards, about the sequencing of common core article math standards, about the mix and type of mandated readings, and about the priority Common Core puts on the close reading of texts in ways that devalue student experience and prior knowledge.

A decade of NCLB tests showed that millions of students were not meeting existing standards, but the sponsors of the Common Core decided that the solution was tougher ones.

And this time, instead of each state developing its own standards, the Common Core seeks to create national tests that are comparable across states and districts, and that can produce results that can be plugged into the data-driven crisis machine that is the engine of corporate reform.

The way the standards are being rushed into classrooms across the country is further undercutting their credibility. These standards have never been fully implemented in real schools anywhere. They're more or less abstract descriptions of academic abilities organized into sequences by people who have never taught at all or who have not taught this particular set of standards, common core article.

To have any impact, the standards must be translated into curriculum, instructional plans, classroom materials, and valid assessments. A reasonable approach common core article implementing new standards would include a few multi-year pilot programs that provided time, common core article, resources, opportunities for collaboration, and transparent evaluation plans.

Instead we're getting an overhyped all-state implementation common core article that seems more like a marketing campaign than an educational plan. And I use the word marketing advisedly, because another defining characteristic of the Common Core project is rampant profiteering. Joanne Weiss, Duncan's former chief of staff and head of the Race to the Top grant program, which effectively made adoption of the Common Core a condition for federal grants, described how it is opening up huge new markets for commercial exploitation:.

Having financed the creation of the standards, the Gates Foundation has entered into a partnership with Pearson to produce a full set of K—12 courses aligned with the Common Core that will be marketed to schools across the country. Nearly every educational product now comes wrapped in the Common Core brand name. The curriculum and assessments our schools and students need will not emerge from this process.

Instead, the top-down, bureaucratic rollout of the Common Core has put schools in the middle of a multilayered political struggle over who will control education policy—corporate power and private wealth or public common core article managed, common core article, however imperfectly, by citizens in a democratic process.

Corporate sponsors are pitching in, too. Dozens of the nation's top CEOs will meet to common core article the plans for a national advertising blitz that may include TV, radio, and print. But while this larger political battle rages, common core article, the most immediate threat for educators and schools remains the new wave of high-stakes Common Core tests.

The problem is that this game, like the last one, is rigged. Although reasonable people have found things of value in the Common Core standards, there is no credible defense to be made of the high-stakes uses planned for these new tests. Instead, the Common Core project threatens to reproduce the narrative of public school failure that just led to a decade of bad policy in the name of reform, common core article.

Reports from the first wave of Common Core testing provide evidence for these fears. Last spring, students, parents, and teachers in New York schools responded to new Common Core tests developed by Pearson with outcries against their length, difficulty, common core article, and inappropriate content.

Pearson included corporate logos and promotional material in reading passages, common core article. Students reported feeling overstressed and underprepared—meeting the tests with shock, anger, tears, and anxiety.

Administrators requested guidelines for handling tests students had vomited on. Teachers and principals complained about the disruptive nature of the testing process and many parents encouraged their children to opt out. The achievement gaps Common Core is supposed to narrow grew larger.

Less than 4 percent of students who common core article English language learners passed. This is not just cynical speculation. It is a reasonable projection based on common core article history of the NCLB decade, the dismantling of public education in the nation's urban centers, and the appalling growth of the inequality and concentrated poverty that remains the central problem in public education, common core article.

Common Core has become part of the corporate reform project now stalking our schools. As schools struggle with these new mandates, we should defend our students, our schools, and ourselves by pushing back against implementation timelines, resisting the stakes and priority attached to the tests, and exposing the truth about the commercial and political interests shaping this false panacea for the problems our schools face.

There are encouraging signs that the movement we need is growing, common core article. Last year in Seattle, teachers led a boycott of district testing that drew national support and won a partial rollback of the testing. Even some supporters of the CCSS have endorsed a call for the moratorium on the use of tests to make policy decisions, common core article.

It's not enough, but it's a start. The Common Core meltdown may not take that long. Many of Common Core's myths and claims have already lost credibility with large numbers of educators and citizens. We have more than a decade of experience with the negative and unpopular results of imposing increasing numbers of standardized tests on children and classrooms. Whether this growing resistance will lead to better, more democratic efforts to sustain and improve public education, or be overwhelmed by the massive testing apparatus that NCLB left behind and that the Common Core seeks to expand, will depend on the organizing and advocacy efforts of those with the most at stake: parents, educators, common core article, and students.



common core article


The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative from that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in English language arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade. High education standards prevent unprepared college students and help the Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Jun 16,  · One reason: The Common Core is the way math was taught before. True, the new South Carolina standards are 92 percent aligned with the Common Core. But Author: Jordan Ellenberg.