A Teacher’s Vision for Common Core

A Teacher’s Vision for Common Core

While I agree with Ms. Fuentes general thesis–that we should stay the course with common core standards and meet the challenges of implementation, modifying as needed as we press forward–I do have to point out that her blog is posted on the Gates Foundation site. The Gates Foundation has been one of the loudest and wealthiest advocates for the common core (they have spent over $170,000,000 to date according to this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/11/27/gates-foundation-pours-millions-into-common-core-in-2013/ ). While I neither praise nor condemn this teacher’s connection to the Gates Foundation, I do think it is important to point out the connection when deciding credibility of the source.

I guess my biggest beef with cutting and running is that the newest buzzword in education is “GRIT.” We expect kids to show resiliency (aka grit), but we adults are certainly not stepping up to the task of showing grit ourselves. Indeed, the common core standards are ambitious. Some at the early grades are outright not age appropriate. But in the end, why not take a good beginning and perfect it? Why not be willing to move away from the rote culture that high stakes testing has created? 

I will also acknowledge up front that I see these standards as a threat in the plethora of states that connect teacher evaluation to test scores–still making the PARCC or Smarter Balance tests high stakes for teachers and still not any stake for students. That problem still persists, and teachers in those states are right to worry that they are being set up for failure. But evaluation policy is one of the many areas, along with ESEA/NCLB revision and re-authorization, that will have to reviewed as common core comes to fruition. 

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