Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Real Problem With the Common Core

Schools all over the state are trying to get ready for the Common Core testing that will be taking place in the spring.  I know there has been a lot of noise occurring about the Common Core and most of it has been illogical and not based in evidence and, in some cases, reality.  Today I came across a good article on Edutopia that examines the state of the common core testing across the nation.  In my opinion, this is potentially the biggest issue with the common core: the test.

The testing will be done online, but don't think that it will be instantly graded.  Many of the questions require a person to read and analyze the students answer.  This will take time and human power and should not be done with some computer program that would focus on length of answer instead of depth of answer.  

The article on Edutopia shared some findings related to the technology that will be used:
Recent field-testing of PARCC and Smarter Balanced digital assessment reports indicate that schools which are relatively well equipped -- with wireless computers, broadband Internet and IT staff -- needed additional time and expertise for extensive troubleshooting. Glitches ranged from software and wireless device compatibility issues to the actual testing software. Tech-savvy schools that participated in field testing also report that digital assessments assume a level of digital fluency (such as familiarity with keyboard layout and using a mouse to select text), which will affect students who do not have regular access to digital tools.3
My school is a one to one school at the high school level, but we only have a couple of computer labs at the elementary level.  I have taught in schools were there was only two computer labs for the entire district.  

The issue of the tests is one that I keep asking my superintendent who has not heard an explanation.  I know other teachers have heard the question asked of our past Secretary of Education and current Secretary of Education without a clear answer.  I would really like some clarity from the department of education before I will have students students taking a test that will "judge" the worth of my teaching and the schools teaching.  I know I don't want to go through what happened in New York and Kentucky.
New York has been a model in providing supports for transitioning to Common Core, yet principals and teachers there have described the implementation as "rushed" and lacking in resources.4


  1. If I were a Teabagger, I'd be writing a brief -- heck, a whole campaign strategy -- linking ObamaCare and the exchange Web glitches with Common Core and the testing computer glitches. Thematically, it would totally resonate. If I were a Teabagger.

  2. I think that Kallis is right that the teaparty doesn't actually care about education, but they just want to "label" other people.