Lots of interesting fodder for conversation in this PBS Newshour piece, which attempts to put the evolution of the Common Core in context with current changes. Key points raised in the discussion include the role of standardized testing, teachers’ apprehension around Common Core assessments, and renewed attention and focus on teacher education programs.


  • I find it somewhat ironic that while classrooms shifting to the common core are becoming more standardized while the Internet ensures that students can get resources to pursue any weird or odd interest they want.

    The real issue I think is getting students excited about learning. Period. What they are learning takes second place to their desire to learn. And that happens with outstanding and enthusiastic teachers.

  • Nancy Allison

    As Amanda discusses in her book, but was only briefly touched on in this discussion, is holding the students (not just teachers) responsible for their results. In other high performing countries students and parents take school and testing very seriously because their performance often determines which high school (academic or vocational) or college students will attend. There are serious consequences attached to the tests for students in other countries, thus teachers, parents, and students all value education.

  • Nancy Allison

    I understand that under No Child Left Behind each state developed their own tests and the difficulty differed greatly from state to state. In California, as a fifth grade teacher, our students were graphing algebraic equations by the end of the year. Our California State Standards Tests were challenging. My concern with the implementation of the Common Core and focus on critical thinking skills is that teachers do not have the freedom to decide the pacing of lessons, curriculum, or projects/problems that will best help students develop these skills. From what I’ve seen of the sample CC test questions, it really is a “thinking” test and not a basic skills test. To change the test this drastically, we do need major changes in our whole education system.

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