Gates: Don’t use Core scores for 2 years

Common Core-aligned tests shouldn’t be used for  teacher evaluations and student promotions for two years, writes Vicki Phillips for the Gates Foundation. “The standards need time to work.”

Teachers need time to develop lessons, receive more training, get used to the new tests, and offer their feedback.

. . . A rushed effort to apply the assessments could punish teachers as they’re trying new things, and any hiccups in the assessments could be seen as flaws in the standards.

That makes sense. But it comes a few days after a Washington Post story on the foundation’s support for the development and promotion of Common Core Standards — and its extensive links with the Obama administration.

The foundation backed off on high-stakes testing after “calls for congressional investigations” into the foundation and its administration allies, writes Susan Berry on Breitbart.

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  1. I can’t quite see how anyone thinks better standards (if, indeed, these are better) are the answer. As the “Prom Without Proofreading” item below shows, we already know of lots of places that are broken and we don’t do anything about them.

  2. Is this basically where Gates Fndn felt they needed to choose b/w 2 competing foundation objectives? Effort to get teachers evaluated in some sort of meaningful way, versus Common Core?

    Sounds like they chose: let’s risk the former in order to maximize chance of the latter. Since both are under duress.

    Seems like the logic was:

    Give the evaluation delay to the unions. Get them back supporting Common Core. That limits the Common Core front mostly to conservatives and shores up Dem establishment base.

    But the price is high. The union objective is openly to block Gates-sought and Obama-sought teacher measurement. Delaying what states are doing now — in large part thru Race To Top incentives — has chance of grinding to full halt.

    Not an easy choice.