That is the title of this post at the Answer Sheet Blog of the Washington Post, run by Valerie Strauss. The author is Carol Burris, an award-winning principal in Long Island who originally supported the idea of Common Core but has become increasingly concerned about the damage it will do as she has watched it take shape, particularly with respect to the assessments that will go with the Common Core. As Burris puts it,
New York’s Common Core tests, designed to measure whether 8-14 year olds are on the path to college readiness, will soon begin. The stakes have never been higher, since teachers and principals are now being evaluated in part by student scores. Like the teacher evaluation system, Common Core testing is a plane being built in the air — a plane in which the passengers are children.She warns parents not to be taken in, and offers four key points:
There is much more.
She provides detailed illustrations of how the way the assessments are structured and the scores are used can result in very unfair results, to students and to teachers.
She parses some documents from people at Pearson, the large British company that is developing NY's assessments - and is partnering with Bill Gates to develop online assessments for the Common Core - and of course with assessments will come the preparatory material - including prep assessments, or as Burris puts at the end of her penultimate paragraph:
It would appear that Pearson is getting a test ready to get ready to get students globally ready for a test of readiness that assesses readiness.Her final brief paragraph puts in all in context. It should persuade you to go read the piece, then to pass it on, to everyone you know.
This is the mindset that is driving school reform. Eventually all of it will fail. But your child will not get a second chance to be a third-grader. We are on our way to creating a generation of students who will despise school before they ever get to college, ready or not. Speak out. Our country and our children deserve better.