More states delay Common Core testing

Nov 25, 2013 by

Massachusetts and Louisiana, both seen as important in the world of school reform, have decided to delay the implementation of high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards in the face of growing concern about the initiative. The two states follow nearly 10 others — including Florida, the pioneer of corporate-influenced school reform — to slow or rethink Core implementation, actions coming amid a growing movement led by educators and parents who have become skeptical of the standards and the new related standardized tests.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been defending the Core — a set of common standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia designed to raise student achievement —for months before various audiences, most recent recently getting himself in trouble with remarks about “white suburban moms” becoming Core critics because the new, harder exams have shown suddenly that “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were.” (He apologized, blaming “clumsy phrasing.”)

But the opposition has grown, from the left, the right and the middle, expressing different concerns about the Core and its implementation. Though Duncan has said repeatedly that the Core is a state-led, voluntary initiative, the Obama administration has supported the standards, and critics on the right charge that the federal government has used it to develop a national curriculum. Critics on the left and the middle have argued that the Core standards are not based on substantive research, that they ignore what is known about early childhood development and/or that reformers have rushed implementation before teachers have had time to absorb them and create materials to teach them. One prominent Core supporter, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, recently blasted the implementation, saying:

You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.

The moves by Louisiana and Massachusetts matter because both states have big profiles in the school reform world.

via More states delay Common Core testing as concerns grow.

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