The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. To say they're contentious is to put it mildly. For various reasons, a nationwide backlash has taken hold and some states are reconsidering the standards.
Teachers in New York recently administered new Common Core-aligned standardized tests, but because of a "gag order" in the state's contract with test-making giant Pearson, the teachers are barred from talking publicly about any mistakes they find on the test.
Parents, students and teachers at two Chicago public schools are taking a brave stand against the overuse of standardized testing.
Last week, the Obama administration took an important step for the well-being of the nation’s youth – especially those who are of racial minorities – by issuing new guidelines that many hope will shut down what has come to be known as “the school-to-prison pipeline.”
The results of the 2013 New York State tests of students in grades 3-8 have been greeted with consternation, as they should be, but it should be emphasized that they paint a picture of a system—especially that part administered by the New York City Department of Education—that is far gone in failure. This is simply the most recent indication of that failure and the Department’s lack of attention to its responsibilities.
I have this recurring nightmare – one that, I fear, is about to become reality for most of America’s school children.
In my dream, I’m back in elementary school. It’s testing day and I’m struggling to remember my locker combination and get to class on time. My backpack implausibly opens and spills its contents into the hallway. Indifferent schoolmates rush by.
If today's dominant education reform agenda is to be believed, the best way to reform our schools is to take a lesson from businesses and the private sector. We should pit schools and teachers against each other in a vicious competition for limited resources, and hold teachers accountable for larger societal ills like poverty and inequality by tying their livelihoods to high-stakes tests and firing those who fail to perform.
This is probably only news to people who support the expansion of charter schools and voucher programs, but parents overwhelmingly prefer to have strong, neighborhood public schools over any of those "school choice" options.