Why I Love the Common Core State Standards Part II

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ed reform, ccss, common core, liz natale, diane ravitch

If you thought I was out there with my opinions last time.

I’d like to continue the ideas from my last post about the roll-out of the Common Core State Standards.  Recent outcry makes my view even more unpopular–especially among teachers.

A colleague of mine,  Liz Natale, recently wrote an essay lamenting CCSS and education reform that, rightfully, went viral.  Her writing is heartfelt and brave and I admire her for sharing her passion.

My union also distributed this speech by Diane Ravitch. In it, she details the history of the CCSS, how they were developed in a sort of secrecy, and why they may not be the best solution for education reform.  As usual, Ravitch is well informed and cogent in her statements.

I agree with Natale and Ravitch on many points.  Do I love the NCLB-esque focus on testing?  No.  Do I love the new models for teacher evaluation?  No.  Do I love the breakneck pace of implementing the Common Core and it’s correlated assessments that districts face, the whirlwind that has teachers questioning whether to remain in the profession? No.

I wrote my own critique of how Connecticut planned tackle education reform a few years back.  I still feel teachers aren’t given their due.  The old saying that teaching is a 5-9 job is more of a truism than a witticism, and even more unrecorded work hours will slip on by as we rally to meet all the new demands placed on us.

But there’s still something that bothers me about rejecting CCSS wholesale.  While many of my fellow teachers’ reactions range from frustration to righteous indignation to utter despair, I can’t help but notice the silver lining.  I am actually excited by the Common Core, and I can’t wait to effectively incorporate it into the curricula of the classes I teach.  And after even more reflection, I think I know why.  Originally, I thought it was because of the focus on independent learning.  Now I know it’s more than this. Continue reading