Public School Parents! Please Read This!

The Common Core curriculum, approved by 46 states and Washington D.C., is knocking on our children’s classroom doors. The curriculum is incredibly challenging – not that there’s anything wrong with raising the educational bar – but the tests are ridiculous.

Carol Burris, winner of New York’s Outstanding Educator Award in 2010, offers this advice in today’s Washington Post:

New York’s Common Core tests, designed to measure whether 8-14 year olds are on the path to college readiness, will soon begin. The stakes have never been higher, since teachers and principals are now being evaluated in part by student scores. Like the teacher evaluation system, Common Core testing is a plane being built in the air — a plane in which the passengers are children.

So, what can parents do? Burris offers plenty of suggestions. Here are two of them:

*Understand that your tax dollars are being diverted from enrichment to instead sustain a bloated regime of testing, test prep, unproven standards and a teacher evaluation system designed to feed into the testing frenzy. Write to your governor and legislature and tell them, “no more”. This is an unprecedented assault on local school control.

*If you want to know how your child is doing in school, ask his or her teacher. Do not ever believe that your child’s potential for success in college and in life can be demonstrated by an elementary, or even a middle-school test. Even SAT’s have limited value in predicting college success. The rigor of the courses a student takes in high school is a far better predictor. Read the research.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with testing or having high standards. But in the case of the Common Core, it’s the implementation that should have every public school parent concerned. We need to close the door on the Common Core.


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