Audrey Hill is a middle school English teacher who has been teaching since 1987. Recently, when she said something critical of Common Core on Twitter, someone asked if teachers work was “unconnected” to having their kids meet “a high bar.”


Audrey responded with this post, where she says that her students met a much higher bar than the Common Core standards before they were published. Common Core sets a “false bar.”


She offers a series of examples of the high bar her students meet.



I teach to a very high bar. I would argue that my standards for teaching are higher than the Common Core in several respects… particularly in the area of critical reasoning. The 7th grade CCSS are primarily focused upon students learning to use text based evidence to analyze claims made or implied by an author. They do not address using text based evidence to make original claims. This is a great flaw because it reduces the learner to the consumer of information rather than a creator of information. I would argue, therefore, that in my classroom, neither teaching nor learning has been improved by the Common Core. At best, the CCSS has provided a new labeling system. Here are some artifacts that illustrate my bar as well as give some evidence for what I think my job is.


Debate Project: This is a piece of a 7th grade unit on argumentation that I have conducted for the last 15 years in my cluster. I am still in the process of moving it to the cloud. In this project, students’ critical reasoning skills are honed along with their research, writing, reading, public speaking skills, as well as their use of evidence and justification. This year, I am adding the Harvard video so students can get a whiff of utilitarianism (consequentialism) and the categorical imperative in a watered down way. When I have had the time (which I don’t because of the outside intervention and impact of testing on school culture) they read Kennedy, Locke, Chisolm, Paine and Churchill and modeled writing and thinking upon these and others. I also do a lot with rhetorical devices and logical fallacies that are not moved to this page yet. NOTE: The content here will not be reliably measured by the State test, as has been evidenced by schizophrenic scores which shift from year to year for no discernible reason despite clear evidence of my skill as a teacher and my continuing high standards. (I’ll address this in another post about a false bar)


She gives other examples where students work hard to think and create and have original work.


That won’t be measured on the state tests.