The Los Angeles Times had an interesting op/ed today. A noteworthy excerpt:
At the rate the state is going, teachers will end up being trained before the English curriculum is even in place, and instruction would start before the new textbooks are in anyone’s hands. Yet if the school reform movement has its way, teachers will be evaluated in part based on how well their students do on the very different standardized tests that go with the new curriculum. Reflecting the concern that teachers throughout the state have been expressing, one California teacher recently tweeted that within a couple of years, “we start testing on standards we’re not teaching with curriculum we don’t have on computers that don’t exist.”
Teachers justifiably fret that they’re being set up for failure. Schools worry about finding the money to make all this happen…
…Experts are divided over the value of the new curriculum standards, which might or might not lead students to the deeper reading, reasoning and writing skills that were intended. But on this much they agree: The curriculum will fail if it isn’t carefully implemented with meaningful tests that are aligned with what the students are supposed to learn. Legislators and education leaders should be putting more emphasis on helping teachers get ready for common core and giving them a significant voice in how it is implemented. And if the state can’t get the right elements in place to do that by 2014, it would be better off delaying the new curriculum a couple of years and doing it right, rather than allowing common core to become yet another educational flash in the pan that never lives up to its promise.
Even with a delay I believe it will be a flash in the pan since this is another example of data-less decision making on education policy. Delaying the Common Core in California may give residents of that cash strapped state the time to root it out before it is fully implemented.