Educators, Parents Debate the Common Core

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

CBS Sunday Morning. (2014, September 14). Educators, parents debate the Common Core. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpptv5bSIi0

Summary

Despite being a federal initiative, Common Core was started as nationwide collaboration from the state level to develop nationwide standards. 45 states and D.C. initially adopted Common Core and were offered grant money in return for participation. One of the benefits of Common Core was that it raised the standards of states like Tennessee and allowed more accurate comparisons of the academic achievements rates of various states. Despite these benefits, implementation of the Common Core has not been without pushback.

Many conservatives felt that the federal government should not be dictating curriculum even if it was the states who had the power to accept or reject Common Core. Opposition to Common Core was also strong in Progressives states. One of the criticisms of progressives was that the standards that Common Core set were unrealistic; and to support their argument, they singled out have specific test questions as being too difficult for certain grade levels. Education can be condensed into a series of increased standards. While Common Core may be flawed, it was a step in the right direction.

Evaluation

This is an outstanding synopsis of the controversy surrounding Common Core.

 

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind

Sue, Jason

CA

APA Citation

The Understood Team. (n.d.). The difference between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/your-childs-rights/basics-about-childs-rights/the-difference-between-the-every-student-succeeds-act-and-no-child-left-behind

Summary

This resource gives a side by side comparison of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In both acts, the onus is on the States to hold students accountable. One of primary differences between the two acts is that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is more flexible about the of setting academic goals than its predecessor the No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Also, NCLB did not limit the proportion of students who could take an alternative test whereas ESSA limited the proportion to 1% of test takers. As a measure of accountability, the ESSA allows a wide range of factors such as reading and math test scores, high school graduation rates, as well as other optional factors such as kindergarten readiness. In contrast, the NCLB’s measures of accountability focused on academic achievement relying primarily on reading and math test scores.

Evaluation

The Difference Between the Every Student Succeeds Act and No Child Left Behind is a great overview on the differences between Every Student Succeeds Act and its predecessor (No Child Left Behind). It doesn’t cover the minutia but is perfect for someone who only needs a summary of these two pieces of legislation.

 

 

Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards

Clem, Katy

CA

Calfee, R., Wilson, K. M., Flannery, B., & Kapinus, B. (2014). Formative Assessment for the Common Core Literacy Standards. Teachers College Record, 116(11), 1-32. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/library/content.asp?contentid=17649

“Assessment for learning rather than testing of achievement”…yes! Outlines common core standards clearly; provides insight into formative assessment method for evaluating learning in a meaningful way.

The team of authors succeeded at clearly laying out and explaining what is actually written in the Common Core standards, weeding through varied and expansive opinion on the issue to get to their express purpose and core. The approach to assessment outlined in this article focuses on the process of gathering feedback on student learning with a goal of adjusting ongoing teaching, linking closely to the connected goals and approaches found in inquiry-based learning. I still wonder how this approach can be scaled to evaluate efficacy across a state or nation; can the original goal of national standards, reducing discrepancies in educational opportunity based on socioeconomic or geographical factors and ensuring that all schools provide equal educational opportunity, be achieved without the norm of standardized testing? I am deeply encouraged by what I’m reading regarding the direction in which assessment is headed, but I am still stuck on what that looks like when scaled to a national level or tied to federal funding.

 

Historical Justification and Underpinnings of the American Common Core

Robillard, Gail

CA

Wallender, J. (2014). The Common Core state standards in American public education: Historical underpinnings and justifications. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 80(4), 7-11. Retrieved at http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=be955f56-f9ee-42b7-90a3-51e03e8e0805%40sessionmgr104

In this literature review, the author documents and discusses the historical underpinnings and justifications surrounding CCSS, and synthesizes four main justifications for their adoption. She asserts that only by educators understanding why and how the CCSS adoption came to be will their implementation be effective. The four justifications are creating common educational standards, preparing students for college, stressing quality education for all students, and increasing rigor in schools. The author notes that these four justifications are not new; early educational standards likewise grew from these same objectives.

I like the format of a literature review as it attempts to synthesize all the relevant literature on a topic, thereby giving more weight to the findings. I was interested in the historical development of educational standards as detailed by the author. It was interesting to see what philosophical goals were important to early educators. While the goals seem the same, nonetheless the CCSS have been controversial.  I would be interested in further reading on what precise arguments have been posed against the CCSS. A less important thing I learned was that Delta Kappa Gamma is a professional honor society of women educators, begun just after women were granted the right to vote, in order to promote women in educational leadership positions. The society does not currently permit men to become members.