Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Diane Ravitch criticizing the Common Core

I normally don't send out something I disagree with (this NYT op ed by Diane Ravitch criticizing the Common Core), but I don't have time to respond to it, so I'm hoping someone will send me a good response that I can include in my next email. In the meantime, it's worth reading and understanding the critique:

As the damage escalated, I renounced my support for high-stakes testing andcharter schools. Nonetheless, I clung to the hope that we might agree on national standards and a national curriculum. Surely, I thought, they would promote equity since all children would study the same things and take the same tests. But now I realize that I was wrong about that, too.

Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven't come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progressdeclined; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

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