The Turmoil is in the Tests

Via the Washington Post:

“The Common Core is in trouble,” said Randi Weingarten, the union president who is slated to speak Tuesday in New York about the issue. “There is a serious backlash in lots of different ways, on the right and on the left.”

Weingarten is concerned that states are rushing out tests based on the new standards without preparing teachers and designing new curricula.

“This is a wake-up call for everyone else in the country,” she said, pointing to New York, which just administered new tests based on the Common Core standards. Teachers, parents and students complained that the tests were poorly designed, covered material that had not been taught and frustrated children to the point of tears.

New York, like many other states, plans to use the test results in decisions about student grade promotion, teacher job evaluations and school closings. But Weingarten is calling for a moratorium on consequences for at least one year until teachers and students across the country are sufficiently steeped in the Common Core standards. New York and Kentucky are the only states to have begun testing based on the new standards; the others will follow in 2014.

Lucy Calkins, a professor at Teachers’ College at Columbia University , has launched a Web site where hundreds of teachers, principals and parents have posted feedback — overwhelmingly negative — about the new tests in New York.

“I’m a big supporter of the Common Core. I wrote the best-selling book about it,” Calkins said. “But this makes even me question it.”

While Weingarten’s motives are not pure she has a good point about the lack of preparation for teachers.  She also brings up another point which concerns me —>>  new curricula needs to be designed.  This is how the Common Core which are just standards is driving curriculum – through assessments.