Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Why I Oppose the Common Core State Standards: A Review | Diane Ravitch's blog

Why I Oppose the Common Core State Standards: A Review | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Why I Oppose the Common Core State Standards: A Review

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This post is a review of my decision to oppose the Common Core standards. A few days ago, I met a high school teacher who told me she had quit her job as a teacher because her supervisor told her she could not teach poetry anymore, due to the Common Core standards. Defenders of the standards will say that the supervisor misinterpreted the standards. Unfortunately, many others are following the same guidelines: Put away poetry and classic literature; teach students to read informational text so the nation can be globally competitive. If I told you there was no evidence for this claim, would you believe me? Do you know that students can learn to read critically and thoughtfully whether they are reading literature or factual information? Every kind of text requires interpretation and understanding.
I oppose the mandated use of the Common Core standards. If teachers like them and want to use them, they should. I have no problem with that. It should be up to the teachers, not to a committee that was funded by Bill Gates, promoted by Arne Duncan, and marketed as a “state-led initiative,” which it was not.
I did not reach this view frivolously or for political reasons. I first read the standards in draft form in 2009. I read them when they were published in 2010. I was invited to the White House in 2010 to meet with the President’s top advisors–Melody Barnes, the head of the Domestic Policy Council; Rahm Emanuel, then the President’s chief of staff; and Ricardo Rodriguez, the President’s education advisor. They asked what I thought of the CCSS. I said that until standards are implemented, until they are tried and tested in classrooms with real teachers and real students, it is impossible to know how they will work. However good they might look on paper, the real test happens in real classrooms, where they must be tried and reviewed. I urged them to give grants to three-to-five states to implement the standards, listen to teachers, work out the bugs, and learn what effects they will have. Will they raise achievement? Will they narrow or lower the achievement gaps among different groups? We can’t know without running trials and revising what needs to be fixed. They flatly rejected my suggestion and said there was no time for that. I realized then that their goal was to have the standards in place in time Why I Oppose the Common Core State Standards: A Review | Diane Ravitch's blog:

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