When the Gates Foundation issued a press release calling for a two-year moratorium on the use of test scores to evaluate teachers, its position met a mixed reception. Some saw it as a victory for the critics of high-stakes testing; others as an attempt to weaken the critics by deferring the high stakes.


Anthony Cody says, don’t be fooled. The Gates Foundation gives no indication that it understands that its path is wrong, it is simply buying time.


The question we should all be asking is how this one very rich foundation took charge of American education and is in a position to issue policy statements that should be the domain of state and local school boards. What we have lost is democratic control of public education; while no one was looking, it got outsourced to the Gates Foundation.


Cody writes:


“As a thought experiment, what would it look like if the Gates Foundation truly was attending to the research and evidence that is showing how damaging the new Common Core tests and high stakes accountability systems are? Would they simply be calling to defer the worst effects of this system for two years?


A real appraisal of the evidence would reveal:


VAM systems are unreliable and destructive when used for teacher evaluations, even as one of several measurements.


“School closures based on test scores result in no real gains for the students, and tremendous community disruption.


“Charter schools are not providing systemic improvements, and are expanding inequity and segregation.


“Attacks on teacher seniority and due process are destabilizing a fragile profession, increasing turnover.


“Tech-based solutions are often wildly oversold, and deliver disappointing results. Witness K12 Inc’s rapidly expanded virtual charter school chain, described here earlier this year.


“Our public education system is not broken, but is burdened with growing levels of poverty, inequity and racial isolation. Genuine reform means supporting schools, not abandoning them.


“The fundamental problem with the Gates Foundation is that it is driving education down a path towards more and more reliance on tests as the feedback mechanism for a market-driven system. This is indeed a full-blown ideology, reinforced by Gates’ own experience as a successful technocrat. The most likely hypothesis regarding the recent suggestion that high stakes be delayed by two years is that this is a tactical maneuver intended to diffuse opposition and preserve the Common Core project – rather than a recognition that these consequences do more harm than good.”


Moratorium or no, he notes, we are locked into a failed paradigm of testing and accountability. Standards and tests are not vehicles to advance equity and civil rights. If anything, they have become a way to undermine democracy and standardize education.
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/1m4Lleg

Anthony Cody points out that for the past dozen years or so, Bill Gates has had his fun experimenting with education reform. Obsessed as he is with measurement and data, he imagined that he could impose his narrow ideas on American public schools and bring about a magical transformation.


Does American education need reform and improvement? Absolutely. Stuck as it is in the paradigm of testing and punishment, it sorely needs a revival of humanism and attention to the needs of children, families, and communities. It needs teachers who are well-prepared. It needs a recommitment o the health and happiness of children and to a deeper love of learning.


Yet Gates used HS vast wealth to steer national policy to the dry and loveless task of higher scores on tests of dubious value.


He wanted charter schools, and Arne Duncan, his faithful liege, demanded more charter schools,even if it was central to the Republican agenda.


He wanted national standards and quite willingly paid out over $2 billion to prove that one man could create the nation’s academic standards by buying off almost every group that mattered.


He wanted teachers to be evaluated based on test scores, and Ducan gave that to him too.


But says Cody, everything failed.


Cody writes:

.


“Last September Bill Gates said,


“It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.”


But, says Cody,


“I think we already know enough to declare the experiment a failure.


Value Added is a disaster. Any “reformer” who continues to support giving significant weight to such unreliable indicators should lose any credibility.


“Charter schools are, as a sector, not better than public schools, and are expanding segregation, and increasing inequality.


“The Common Core and the high stakes accountability system in which it is embedded is on its way to the graveyard of grand ideas.


“The only question remaining is how long Gates and his employees and proxies will remain wedded to their ideas, and continue to push them through their sponsored advocacy, even when these policies have been proven to be ill-founded and unworkable.


“Part of the problem with market-driven reform is that when you introduce the opportunity to make money off something like education, you unleash a feedback loop. Companies like the virtual charter chain K12 Inc can make tremendous profits, which they can use to buy off politicians, given our Supreme Court’s “Corporations are people and money is speech” philosophy. There are no systemic brakes on this train. The only way turn this around is for people to organize in large enough numbers, and act together in ways that actively disrupt and derail the operation.


“Along those lines, activists in Seattle are organizing a demonstration on June 26th, protesting the Gates Foundation at their headquarters. It has been a year and a half since I engaged the Gates Foundation in dialogue. Given the rather poor aptitude for learning Gates and company have shown, I will be joining this protest, and perhaps if enough of us are there, we can take the dialogue to the next level.”
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/1iud4TU

The news earlier today that the Koch brothers are joining the fight against Common Core complicates the political calculus surrounding the controversial standards.


The Politico article gives the impression that the rightwingers are the main critics of Common Core by failing to mention that the most zealous advocates for Common Core are Jeb Bush, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, the Business Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Anthony Cody tries to sort out the political contradictions here.


He writes:


“But blaming progressive critics of Common Core for the rise of this conservative movement turns reality on its head. The people who have let down our public schools are those who are willing to embrace standardization and high stakes tests as some sort of “progressive” guarantor of equity. We have been down this path with No Child Left Behind, which was sold to us by an alliance of liberal and neo-conservative politicians. We were told children in poverty would get more attention and resources once standardized tests “shed light” on just how far behind they were. We got teacher ‘evaluation’ schemes built around faulty VAM metrics, leading to mass demoralization and too-many losses of strong educators, simultaneous with a hypocritical push to replace seasoned teachers with Teach for America novices. The result? Intense pressure to raise test scores, narrowed curriculum, and school closings by the hundreds – all with the mantle of approval by our “liberal” leaders. Who really got played here?


“Then Common Core came along in 2009. Everyone was weary of NCLB, and ready for change. But some of us could read the writing on the wall. The fancy words about critical thinking and “moving beyond the bubble tests” sounded nice, but a closer look revealed standards that were originally written with little to no participation by K12 teachers. The promises to get rid of bubble tests only meant that the tests would be taken on expensive computers. The promise to escape the narrowing of curriculum only meant we would be testing more often, in more subjects.


“So many of us started raising concerns. The basic premise of Common Core was similar to NCLB – our schools are failing, and we must respond with “higher standards,” and more difficult tests. But the indictment of public education has been wrong from the start, and we should not lend it credence by supporting phony solutions.”


The bottom line, in my view, is that Common Core is getting increasingly controversial because of the way it was developed and imposed. The absence of a democratic process and the lack of transparency caused a lack of trust and an abundance of suspicion. In a democracy, major changes like national standards for public schools must be done with maximum sunlight and participation, not in secrecy. The fact that no amount of true grassroots opposition from parents is sufficient to alter the views of policymakers like Arne Duncan or Nee York’s Commissioner John King serves to feed the rage against Common Core, from right, left, and center, from parents and educators.


The Common Core is becoming increasingly toxic. As it becomes more controversial, its chances of survival will dim. The more that policymakers shun reasonable parents and teachers, the more frustrated the excluded become. If Common Core dies, don’t blame the Koch brothers: Blame Arne Duncan, the Gates Foundation, Achieve, David Coleman, the NGA, the CCSSO, and all those who thought that national standards could be imposed swiftly without the hard work of listening and participation that democracy requires.
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://dianeravitch.net/2014/01/07/anthony-cody-who-are-the-critics-of-common-core/

Darcy Bedortha is a guest writer for Anthony Cody’s blog.


She tells her story as a Lead Teacher for a K12 virtual charter school.


She confirms all the worst fears of critics of virtual charters.


They make a lot of money. They are passionate about profits, not students.


Students need one-to-one contact with a human being. They don’t get it.


In a long and heartbreaking post, she writes:


I was an English teacher, so my students would write. They wrote of pain and fear and of not fitting in. They were the kinds of young people who desperately needed to have the protective circle of a community watching over them. They needed one healthy person to smile at them and recognize them by name every day, to say “I’m glad you’re here!” Many of my former students do not have that.


The last thing these young people needed, I came to realize during my time with K12 Inc., was to be isolated in front of a computer screen. A week or two or three would often go by without my getting a word from a student. They didn’t answer their email, they didn’t answer their phones. Often their phones were disconnected. Their families were disconnected. My students also moved a lot. During my first year at the school I spent days on the phone trying to track students down. This year I struggled to not simply give up under the weight of it all.


In the fall of 2013, 42 percent of our high school students were deemed “economically disadvantaged.” I had a number of students who were not native English speakers. I cannot wrap my head around how to serve a student who is unable to read or comprehend the language that the virtual curriculum is written in, let alone learn the technology (when it is functioning) without sitting beside them in the same space. Many of my non-native speakers had parents who did not speak English at all. These students often struggled for a very short time, and then I never saw their work again. They dropped out, moved on.


The school officials make millions of dollars. The virtual charter works for them.


Why are we allowing public dollars to flow to these non-educational institutions?


Silly question. They give campaign contributions. They lobby. They are strategic in advancing their goal: Profit.


 
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://dianeravitch.net/2014/01/07/anthony-cody-confessions-of-a-teacher-in-virtual-charter-school-hell/

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/

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/

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/

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/

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/

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/