Rethinking Schools editorial on Common Core

Posted by on July 29, 2013

The CCSS and the same old narrative

In an essay against the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the editors of Rethinking Public Schools write they’d like to believe the claims on behalf of this latest reform — but they don’t. Rather than state standards, the CCSS are in fact national, created by Gates Foundation-funded consultants for the National Governors Association. Written mostly by academics and assessment experts — many with ties to testing companies — the CCSS have never been fully implemented or tested in real schools. Of the 135 members on the Common Core review panels, few were classroom teachers or administrators, and none were parents. CCSS assessments are still in development, to be administered on computers that many schools lack. By all accounts, the assessments will be harder than current state assessments, leading to sharp drops in scores and proficiency rates. The country has just finished a decade-long experiment in standards-based, test-driven school reform called No Child Left Behind, a dismal failure by any measure, the editors write. Its tests showed millions of students were not meeting existing standards. Yet instead of targeting the inequalities of race, class, and educational opportunity reflected in those test scores, the CCSS project similarly threatens to reproduce a narrative of public school failure that has led to a decade of bad policy.

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