This article appears on Breitbart.com, a conservative media outlet. Written by Dr. Susan Berry, a regular contributor to the website, it is critical of Jeb Bush’s support for the Common Core and details his relationships with other groups and funders.


 


With polls showing Republican support for Common Core plummeting, common sense would dictate that Bush call it a day with the nationalized standards, as has been done by other Republicans, such as Maine Gov. Paul LePage and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who plans to run for governor of Louisiana next year.

However, as a review of Bush’s history with the education initiative demonstrates, his interest in pushing onto the entire nation the reforms he introduced while governor of Florida – and his methods for doing so – have led his critics to claim he is more about big government crony capitalism than concern for children’s education.

Bush is the founder of several organizations that all play into a reported strategy that involves not only motivating “the people” at large for changes in education, but also using state education officials to administratively make some of those changes happen without the scrutiny or approval of the public.

As the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), a national group which states its ambitious mission is “to build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential,” Bush tapped for CEO Patricia Levesque, his former deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation while he was governor.

Chiefs for Change is an affiliate of FEE and describes itself as a “bipartisan coalition of current and former state education chiefs who believe that American public education can be dramatically improved.” Current members of Chiefs for Change include Mark Murphy of Delaware, Tom Luna of Idaho, John White of Louisiana, Hanna Skandera of New Mexico, Janet Barresi of Oklahoma – who was defeated in the state’s primary election this year, Deborah Gist of Rhode Island, and Kevin Huffman of Tennessee, former education commissioner and ex-husband of controversial Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee…..


 


As it happens, some of the Chiefs for Change are also members of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the two federally funded interstate consortia that are developing tests aligned with the Common Core standards.

“Cronyism and corruption come in all political stripes and colors,” wrote [Michelle] Malkin at Townhall. “As a conservative parent of public charter school-educated children, I am especially appalled by these pocket-lining GOP elites who are giving grassroots education reformers a bad name and cashing in on their betrayal of limited-government principles…..”


 


Additionally, Bush has joined with former president of the pro-Common Core Fordham Institute Chester Finn and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Conservatives for Higher Standards, a group that promotes the Common Core standards but whose supporters still call themselves “conservatives.” Among the organization’s supporters are Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), soon-to-be head of the Senate committee that oversees education; former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R); former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett; Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R); Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R); former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R); and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R).

The Fordham Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Bush’s national organization have all been awarded grants by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the primary private backer of the Common Core standards.

In 2013, Bush’s FEE itself received $3,500,000 from the Gates Foundation. Two million dollars of that was awarded to FEE “to support Common Core implementation,” and $1.5 million was “for general operating support….”


 


In addition to the Gates Foundation, FEE’s donor list includes names not unfamiliar to critics of the Common Core standards: the GE Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, News Corp, the Walton Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation, the Schwab Foundation, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Paul Singer Foundation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Intel, K12, Pearson, Scholastic, and Target.

Book publishers such as Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, K12, and Scholastic are all poised to reap billions off the sale of Common Core-aligned textbooks and instructional materials that school districts are forced to purchase if they want their students to succeed on the Common Core-aligned assessments. Similarly, technology companies will benefit from the online assessments and student data collection.


 


 


 


 


 


 
















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

If data and research matter, the worst reform in U.S. education is the virtual charter school.


The League of Women Voters–one of the few national organizations with integrity about education issues (I.e. has not been bought by the Gates Foundation) issued a report about these floundering “schools,” that typically have low test scores, high dropout rates, and low graduation rates. Only a devotee of the Jeb Bush reform school would want to invite these ineffectual schools into their state. Poor New Mexico. Its acting state commissioner Hannah Skandera used to work for the Jebster himself, so whatever Florida has done to bring in for-profit hucksters must be brought to New Mexico, of course.


So New Mexico has a K12 virtual charter (listed on the New York Stock Exchange, founded by the Milken brothers), and a Connections Academy, owned by the much unloved Pearson.


Here is the study conducted by the New Mexico League of Women Voters.


Here is an article by Bonnie Burn in the Las Cruces Sun-News explaining why the League of Women Voters opposes for-profit schools. Actually, she is wrong on one point. There is a growing body of research that shows the ineffectiveness of virtual charters. However, they are highly profitable.


Will the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speak out against for-profit virtual charters? Will elephants fly?
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog » K12 Inc. http://ift.tt/1mhtK35

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

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/