Diane Ravitch's Blog: Wendy Lecker: Common Core Uses Our Children as Guinea Pigs
Wendy Lecker, who is a civil rights lawyer, writes here that the Common Core standards have been rolled out without any forethought.
Children are being tested on materials they have never been taught.
States do not have a curriculum that aligns with the Common Core standards.
The federally-funded tests are being developed independent of the curriculum, which does not exist.
Teachers are not prepared.
Students are not prepared.
Yet the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Arne Duncan, and other corporate thought-leaders say: Full speed ahead! We cannot delay! Now! Now! Now!
The Common Core requires massive investments in textbooks, tests, training, and technology. Money is spent on the Common Core experiment at the expense of strategies with a long track record of success, such as high-quality preschool, small class size, wraparound services and extra help for at-risk children.
The benefits of the Common Core are speculative at best. A New York comparison of the 2013 Common Core tests, the previous standards and college completion rates, revealed that the previous standards were better predictors of college readiness. Moreover, the evidence is clear that neither tests nor standards raise achievement. Countries with national standards fare no better than those without, and states with higher standards do no better than states with lower ones. In states with consistent standards, achievement varies widely. The difference in achievement lies in those resources that states are now foregoing to pay for the Common Core.
As for justice, schools serving our most vulnerable students suffer most from a narrow test-based curriculum. A new report in New York reveals that poor children and children of color are least likely to be in schools with libraries, art and music rooms, science, and AP classes. Expanded Common Core testing will disproportionately harm our neediest children.
It is time to ask policy-makers why they made our children guinea pigs in the rush to impose the not-ready-for-prime-time Common Core.
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