Monday, August 26, 2013

Common Core Standards

Some of our state representatives in Oklahoma are pushing for the state to elect to eliminate or modify our participation in the implementation of theCommon Core Standards in Oklahoma.  Some see it as the government exerting more and more power over states.  

Like a lot of new concepts this one was derived from good intentions.  The idea is to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform.  

That's great but like two states are alike.  Some states have more money available to education than others.  Some states, just by the nature of demographics, have more rural schools than others.   How is this a factor?  Well, in Oklahoma for example we have a lot of rural schools run by independent school districts.  Since one component of Common Core is that testing will be done primarily online.  These rural schools do not have the necessary IT capability nor the funds to implement.

Once again we are trying to cram every peg in the same shaped hole.  

One teacher, Bobbie Faulkner, who has nine years of teaching experience in Oklahoma  Had this to say, "Not all students are the same. They do not learn in the same way or share the same interests. Not all students will be able to think critically and understand concepts on a higher level. With the added stress of multiple assessments to be given throughout the course of a school year, we as educators are putting way too much emphasis on testing. Without a doubt, not all students are exceptional performers on tests! If these tests are supposed to reshape our future...wrong! We should not be teaching to the test, and it seems as if that is what it is coming too. These CCSS assessments are much more complex than the normal state standardized tests. Much more intensity added to them. Students already feel the amount of pressure these assessments impact on their lives. I see a lot more students being retained because they do not pass these higher academically assessments. Making class sizes larger and making the students older and more mature than other classmates. Having those older, mature students in the same class with younger and less mature students marks a red flag for me as a teacher in a middle school building. I can see problems arising socially, mentally, and physically. I also think that there will be a higher high school drop out rate because some students will not be successful as students and the complexity of the CCSS."

 One of the biggest concerns from teachers is how the test scores will be used to evaluate teachers.    This puts a lot of pressure on teachers and is probably the number one reason so many veteran teachers are leaving the field.

Why are we so determined to create a one size fits all educational system?  I just don't get it!


Betty said...

Our education systems have always been "one size fits all". The only differences are the methods being used. Think back about your schooling. I think you'll see what I mean.

oklhdan said...

That's true and we still haven't learned that doesn't work!!

Olga said...

I so agree.

Thanks for your kind words of support.