American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten criticized the implementation of the Common Core State Standards on Monday as reported by Capital New York:
“You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse,” said Weingarten, the former head of the United Federation of Teachers in New York, at the National Education Writers Association conference at George Washington University.
Granted Weingarten supports the Common Core in general, but to say its rollout is worse than Obamacare gives you a picture of what a disaster it has been.
Weingarten, who has led calls for temporary moratoriums on attaching high stakes to Common Core-aligned exams, said New York’s rollout of the standards left little time for schools to develop local curricula, leading superintendents to rely upon state-provided lesson plans.
“Here’s 500 pages. Just do it,” Weingarten said, mimicking what she argues is superintendents’ message to teachers in New York.
Weingarten said she supports shifting to the Common Core standards, which aim to boost college- and career-readiness by focusing on critical thinking and problem solving skills. But she said states implementing the Common Core are focusing so intensively on preparing students for testing that they ignore other important subjects and activities, like music, art and recess.
“Standardized testing is not synonymous with accountability,” she said. “The testing is not the reform. The reform should be, are we teaching in a different way to do this instructional shift? The conversation nationally has made standardized testing synonymous with the reform.”
I agree with her view on testing, but disagree that focusing on the instructional shift will make it any better.
Photo credit: House Committee on Education and Workforce Democrats (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)