Ravitch: Field test new standards

Common Core Standards, now adopted by 45 states, should be field tested by teachers, writes Diane Ravitch, who helped draft standards in California, Georgia and Texas.

When the words on paper are brought to life in classrooms by real teachers teaching real students, we learn a lot. We find out that some expectations are too high for that grade; some expectations are too low. And some make no sense.

We learn what is developmentally appropriate. We learn what is realistic. We learn what works. Teachers know because they do the work of bringing the words to life. If the words don’t come to life, they know that too.

Ravitch is “agnostic” about the new standards. Maybe they’ll raise achievement, she writes. Maybe not. “How will we know unless we run trials to find out?”

Standards are goals that teachers will implement in different ways, writes Kathleen Porter-Magee on Flypaper. “They are nothing more or less than a simple list of knowledge and skills that students should learn at particular grade levels. You can’t ‘field test’ what a state should expect its students should learn.”

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  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    You can’t ‘field test’ what a state should expect its students should learn.”

    You can field test what a state can realistically expect its students to learn.

    Lots of well-meaning people can say states should expect their 8th grade students to learn algebra. We seem to be finding out that nobody can actually make them all learn.

  2. lightly seasoned says:

    Richard, who claims to be a reasonably bright guy, can’t read Shakespeare and thinks it is too hard for today’s students. CCSS requires at least one Shakespeare play in the 11-12 strand (and one American). Logically, then, should the Shakespeare requirement be there? I mean, I’m an idiot for teaching it, so my opinion doesn’t count. Anybody field test this?