Teachers should strive to meet the individual needs of their students, not the “needs” of standards or tests. There should be high academic expectations for all students, but to expect everyone, regardless of ability/disability, to meet those standards simultaneously and in the same way is foolish and inherently unfair.
Standardized tests are toxic for the Common Core and they are the primary reason for the botched implementation efforts around the country. These tests do not generate comprehensive or reliable data regarding constructivist learning that is called for in the Learning Standards.
The tests have been coupled with the Standards anyway because states that received Race to the Top incentives to implement the Common Core are required to use standardized assessments to evaluate teacher performance.
Schools have rushed to “unpack” the standards and hastily rolled out poorly designed scripted curriculum materials primarily to prepare students for the high stakes tests (that supposedly measure their teachers performance) rather than prepare students for learning.
The Common Core testing regime is more about satisfying data-driven enthusiasts’ ‘thirst” for more data, than it is about cultivating students’ thirst for knowledge.
We are witnessing an unprecedented data collection “gold rush”, while the validity and reliability of this “fool’s gold” is of little concern to those who are mining it.
The “college and career readiness” mandate or mission of the Common Core is misguided and not in the best interest of all our students. There are many “paths” to trade and vocational careers, and they don’t all go through college.
Since the Common Core Standards were designed to serve and support the college and career readiness mandate, they are seriously flawed and deficient.
A more inclusive and appropriate mandate such as readiness for “adulthood and employment” would better serve the academic, social, and emotional needs of all our students. Rather than simply “correcting” the inadequate Common Core standards, they should be reconstructed and redesigned from the ground up.
Schooling should be about inspiring all of our students and helping them to discover their unique talents, while supporting them as they pursue their passions.
This will require more vigor in the classroom which is inherently student-centered, and much less concern about rigor in the classroom which is primarily standards and test-centered.
John, The Art of Learning