The Common Core and More!

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And more and more and more!

The majority of the professional development offered this year is skewing towards the Common Core. A great number of sessions and workshops are about nothing else. References to the new Common Core standards are everywhere in classes taught to educators.

This may not be true in wealthier districts that are not frantic about their scores. I can’t speak to that. I would not be surprised to discover I am talking about a universal phenomenon, though, since districts are judged by their test scores and government intervention has decreed that the tests are going to change to match the new curriculum.

Eduhonesty: In a nutshell, we now endlessly talk about what to teach and hardly ever dwell on how to teach.

One of the worst consequences of this nonstop legislation by mostly noneducators lays in the cost to students. One hidden cost of the Common Core: When I started education, professional development often focused on classroom management and the preparation of effective lessons. This last couple of years has been mostly about aligning the old standards and lessons with the new Common Core standards as we prepare for a new set of different tests. Do we need to align our curricula to the Common Core? If we want to keep our scores up, I imagine the answer is yes.

Is this best for America’s teachers and students?

No! Not even remotely. Especially the new teachers need classroom management strategies much more than they need to learn how to align their sometimes-nonexistent lessons to a new set of pie-in-the-sky standards that often have little to do with their students’ actual learning levels. The opportunity cost from this latest experiment has become staggering.