Trouble for common standards?

Are common standards in trouble? National Journal’s Education Experts debate whether Virginia’s rejection of the Common Core initiative — “Our standards are much superior,” Gov. Bob McDonnell says — foreshadows more problems for the initiative, which is backed by the Obama administration.

Steve Peha of Teaching That Makes Sense thinks what matters is the test, not the standards.

Naïve educator that I am, I’ve asked many times in this forum why we can’t just use the NAEP test as our national benchmarking tool. It’s the only test we all seem to like. And it’s obvious that we’re going to continue using it to test all the other tests that are created. It is, by definition, the “capo di testi capi”, or test of all tests.

. . . Even if the NAEP were modified so that it could be given to every child in the nation, it would be difficult to prep for. Teachers would just have to teach and students would just have to learn.

The common core standards are much better than he’d expected, writes Sandy Kress, who was a Bush education adviser. States that already have high standards may come over to the core in time, he predicts.

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  1. tim-10-ber says:

    I like Steve’s idea and having, once again, a NRT vs CRT. Let’s just use the NAEP. I know it sets a high bar for my district and state as our curriculum sucks when compared to the NAEP.

  2. tim-10-ber says:

    curriculum and therefore test scores…suck compared to what the state says vs the NAEP. I trust the NAEP

  3. Cranberry says:

    Bad idea. The NAEP works well because it’s in no individual teacher or school’s interest to try to game the system. They aren’t identified individually, and there’s no penalty for doing poorly.

    If one were to use the NAEP, it would lose its validity very quickly. See _Measuring Up_, by Koretz, for an idea as to why giving teachers incentives to teach to the NAEP would destroy it.

  4. Vicki Phillips also wrote a piece about common core standards on the Gates Foundation website this morning. She discusses why standards are necessary to help prepare students for college in order to ensure that they not only enter but complete.

    “About 60 percent of students beginning community college need to take at least one remedial class. These classes are expensive, and students who need them are more likely to drop out of college. Odds are, if you start in a remedial class, you will never finish a credit-bearing course in that subject.

    That’s why, when it comes to standards, we need to abandon the prevailing attitude of “the more, the better,”

    see the rest of the article here:


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