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As everyone knows by now, New York has made a mess of its Common Core implementation and, as a media center, has been a drag on the nation’s perception of the new standards. In yet another example, NPR uses a New York State curriculum expert to describe a sample English curriculum, illustrating both the scripted nature of New York’s curriculum guidance and a basic misunderstanding of the standards. (more…)
Here is an exciting piece in the Huffington Post by Linda Darling-Hammond and Randi Weingarten. It’s about how we should be doing accountability. It is consistent with the Trust Teachers post I did at bit ago and this one on Hargreaves and Braun awhile ago, but it’s better because Darling-Hammond and Weingarten render authoritative portraits of the two dramatically contrasting policies: New York’s failure in the Common Core and testing compared to California’s success. (more…)
New Hampshire has never liked the idea of linking test results to high-stakes for teachers. Although each school board makes its own teacher evaluation plan, state policy (developed together with the superintendents, teachers and unions) is that framework of multiple measures of teaching effectiveness applied to groups of teachers is more effective and fair than punitive teacher evaluation strategies.
But, with the strong support of the U.S. Education Department, many states have begun using “value added” statistical procedures to reward and punish teachers. Now the tide may be turning. (more…)
Why read an article in a Rochester, NY student newspaper? Because it’s a model of thoughtful, balanced reporting on the Common Core and the educators quoted make a thoughtful contribution to the debate.
It’s also interesting because, although to comes from New York, with possibly the most disastrous Common Core implementation in the country, the teachers’ observations are much like those of teachers in New Hampshire, which had done one of the best implementations of the new standards.
The important thing to know about today’s NYT story about the Common Core is that it about New York – and only New York. It’s the full New York Times treatment, though with a misleading headline, of the New York Board of Regents decision I reported here a few days ago. New York had leaped into the deep end of the Common Core pool, making its own new Common Core test high-stakes for students and teachers before the new standards were even in classrooms, and had to back down. New Hampshire knew better and hasn’t had the problems they have in New York. As a result, our educators have been enthusiastic supporters.
New York state has a relatively low performing education system and a high level of commitment to punitive education reform policies. Just the opposite of New Hampshire.
Their biggest problem has probably been high stakes testing. Although it takes years to begin seeing the effect of the new standards on student’s learning, New York made a brand new test, based on the newly introduce Common Core State Standards, high stakes for the students and teachers. For students, the test became a graduation requirement and, for teachers, a very crude form of the scoring became the bases for pay and promotion.
As a result, the state’s Common Core implementation has been a mess. That’s where all the horror stories come from.
As a result, the state has had a full scale rebellion on its hands. So the New York state department of education has announced that it will stop beating up its students and teachers – at least temporarily. In doing so, they have moved a little more toward the policies that have made the New Hampshire Common Core implementation so successful.
Here’s the meat of their announcement: