NYTimes stools for Common Core

Apr 26, 2013 by

New York City parents are understandably nervous about tough new state tests that were rolled out last week. And some parents whose children have already taken the tests are outraged. They shouldn’t be: the tests, which measure math and English skills, are an essential part of rigorous education reforms known as Common Core that seek to improve reasoning skills and have been adopted by 45 states.

The city says that it provided adequate advance notice of the tests and that last year more than 90 percent of New York teachers said they understood the Common Core material. The outreach program could have been more aggressive. But with that proviso, New York deserves enormous credit for being one of the first states to carry out what is clearly the most important education reform in the country’s history.

The Common Core standards were the product of a heavily researched, bipartisan effort pioneered by the National Governors Association in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers. The effort arose from a broad recognition that the United States was losing ground to many of its competitors abroad because the learning standards as applied in most states were pathetically weak. The problem came to light when students who sailed through weak state tests did significantly worse on the rigorous federally backed test known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The Common Core standards do not call for a specific curriculum, reading list or anything like that. Rather, they lay out an ambitious set of goals for the math, reading and writing skills that children should acquire as they move through school.

via Moving Ahead With Common Core – NYTimes.com.

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