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The Common Core visionaries dreamed of a world where every student across the nation would have the same standards, a curriculum aligned with the standards, and all students taking one of two tests aligned with the standards. Everything would be RIGORous, we would find out how woefully bad our schools are, teachers would stop “lying” to students, and parents would flee to charters and voucher schools. Best of all, according to Secretary Duncan, parents in Oregon could compare their child with children in other states.
According to this story in the Néw York Times by Motoko Rich, the dream is falling apart.
Several states have adjusted their passing score to avoid telling 70% of the state’s students that they failed.
“The Common Core has been bedeviled by controversy almost from the start; because of the backlash, a few states have already abandoned the Common Core. Fewer than half of the 40 that adopted it originally are using tests from either of the testing consortia that develop the exams, making it difficult to equate results from different states.”
The bad news is that Arne blew away $360 milion on the tests, and the states have wasted hundreds of millions more to prepare for the tests, to buy new technology for the tests, and to change instruction to fit the tests.
The good news is that we don’t need either of the Common Core tests to know how students in Oregon or Maine compare to students in other states. For that purpose, we have the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which compares states, measures achievement gaps. NAEP provides all the data anyone needs. I have yet to meet a parent who wanted to know how their child compared to children in other states. They want to know if they are getting along with other children, if they are doing the work that is right for their grade, if they are good citizens in school.