An interesting read in the Christian Science Monitor. The author Stacy Teicher Khadaroo focused on the education reform that put Massachusetts on the top, and how the adoption of the Common Core State Standards worries some experts.
But Massachusetts’ future doesn’t look as rosy to observers such as Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative-leaning group in Boston.
“Massachusetts made historic gains … but in the last four or five years, a lot of those policy gains have been rolled back,” he says. “There are other states that are nipping at our heels … [and] Massachusetts has kind of plateaued.”
Particularly problematic, he says, is the state’s decision to jump on the Common Core bandwagon. Massachusetts’ standards were a model, he says, and the Common Core standards are of lower quality. For instance, standards for English-language arts used to be based largely on classic literature and poetry, which have a rich vocabulary, but the Common Core emphasizes more informational text, Mr. Gass says. To him it’s part of a “trendy fad” focusing on workforce-development goals and “softer” 21st-century skills.