The unveiling of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010 has brought a level of hyperbola that has lead to common lore now intricately infused within the education debate. Essentially, the failings of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002; notably the vast differences on what qualifies as “proficiency” from state to state; the high-stakes testing that lead to serious cheating scandals; and vastly different state standards was enough fuel for the National Governor’s Association and a host of other partners to write the national standards. Enticed with millions of grant dollars, and deep pocketed lobbying efforts most states quickly adopted the standards. Currently, 44 states are following the CCSS.
NCLB provided the initial 21st century educational controversy and the CCSS is another, in a long list of wedge issues evoking both sides of the political spectrum to draw their dulling sabers. With controversy comes misinformation and a lore that is not always rooted in truth.
The U.S. continues to flounder within the middle of industrialized nations, when looking at international education comparisons, who can argue against higher standards? Expecting more from our students and teachers seems to be an easy way to raise our universal bar. This lore is politically enticing but comes with a high price tag. Ultimately, the goals are admirable but the route to get there is filled with debilitating pot holes that will be difficult to avoid.
As the political landscape continues to evolve, a sacrificial lamb could very well be the CCSS and a national testing mechanism. As it stands, only 58% of U.S. students will be taking either the PARCC or SBAC (CCSS tests) exams, meaning even with 44 states following the CCSS, almost half of the students in the U.S. are being tested with a non-comparable device.
With the debate starting to heat up, the important thing for us all is to seek out accurate knowledge that helps us understand both the strengths and weaknesses of the Common Core. Athlos’ schools, no matter if they are following the CCSS or not, are influenced by this debate. Common Core lore is pervasive, be diligent in understanding the intricacies!