Anthony Cody: What Happens After Common Core Is Ousted?

Anthony Cody follows up his brilliant analysis of the flaws of Common Core with this thoughtful projection of what to do next.


Cody believes that the standards are fatally flawed by the absence of any democratic process or review or trial.


There is also the indisputable fact that the standards were adopted by 45 states without their review but because the federal government made the adoption of “college and career ready standards” a condition for eligibility to win Race to the Top millions. This, despite the fact that the federal government is prohibited by law from exercising any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, instruction, or textbooks used in schools. Promoting CCSS, as Arne Duncan does, is probably illegal.


Cody concludes:


“…there is a deeper principle at stake here. Standards developed in secret without the active participation of K12 educators, parents, students and experts from the start are not acceptable or legitimate. There may be elements of the Common Core that are worthwhile, as jpatten suggests. The trouble is, we have not had any real process to debate these standards, or try them out with real children. And as indicated before, there is no process available to alter the standards in any meaningful way. According to their sponsors, they must be adopted as is, or dumped. I say dump them. Start over. Go back and fix the process – and the new standards we end up with will be better as a result.


“And for those who just want to skip over the issue of democratic process, and take the standards as a starting point, I challenge you to stop and think about the precedent being set, and the prerogatives we are handing to both the Department of Education and the Gates Foundation. This is our chance to set a completely different precedent, which would undermine rather than reinforce the prerogatives of the powerful. Isn’t that worth doing?”


My view:


Stop the Common Core testing. The students and teachers have not been prepared for the tests.


Stop the Common Core tests. The cut scores are aligned with NAEP proficient, which is a high level of achievement and not a reasonable pass-fail mark. it is guaranteed to fail–unfairly–70% of students.


This is what I hope will happen after the testing is called to a halt.


States and districts should review the standards and see how they work in real classrooms with real students.


The K-2 standards should be dropped or revised.


The arbitrary division between literature and informational text should be eliminated. It has no basis in evidence, experience, or research. If teachers want to teach all-literature or all-informational text, that is their prerogative.


Tests should be prepared and scored by teachers, as they are in other countries. The teachers not only get instant feedback, but see what their students understood and did not understand, and also learn what they did not teach well enough for most students to understand. The current Common Core tests do not provide instant feedback or item analysis, and nothing can be learned from them other than to rank students.


Bear in mind that no one can enforce the standards as written. Will the National Governors Association or the Council of Chief State School Officers sue a dozen states to stop them from improving the standards? Not likely.


Let us not forget that the central conversation here is not about test scores. It is about children, teachers, and education. What is in the best interest of our society? The Common Core causes scores to collapse. Its boosters say that is a good thing. But in the meanwhile, they are causing havoc in the lives of children, teachers, and schools. That is not a good thing, unless you believe that disruption is a thing of beauty and that something good is sure to emerge from chaos, disappointment, outrage, crushed egos, and upheaval.


Count me skeptical.
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://dianeravitch.net/2013/11/18/anthony-cody-what-happens-after-common-core-is-ousted/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *