Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quotations Of The Day: Common Core History Edition

First, there's this history lesson from Valerie Strauss who responds to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:
The Core initiative was started in 2007 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, a bipartisan effort to come up with a common set of K-12 standards in English language arts and math across states that would better prepare students for colleges and careers than in the past.
The standards were written by school reformer and entrepreneur David Coleman, who now heads the College Board, and Susan Pimental of Achieve Inc., an organization created to advance “standards-based” education.  Starting in 2009, the Obama administration, in its main education initiative, required states that wanted to compete for Race to the Top reform dollars to adopt the standards. It also gave some $360 million to two consortia of states developing standardized tests aligned to the Core, exams whose results would be used to evaluate teachers, another controversial part of the Obama reform agenda.
Later she writes,
Duncan, in his speech to the newspaper editors, said the federal government didn't start or write the standards, and that is true. He said that it wasn't mandated either, though critics argue that it was coerced. He was also right when he said the Core is not a curriculum (even though the Core authors released a book of criteria to education publishers about what should be in Core curriculum).
But he didn't mention the rushed implementation, nor the hundreds of millions of dollars the federal government has plowed into the testing creation effort. He has said for years that the Core-aligned tests would be “game changers” and be able to assess students much more broadly,  but he didn't say Tuesday that that isn't true. It turns out there wasn't enough time or money to create those kinds of tests.
Diane Ravitch quotes Strauss and then sums up the Core's history:
Another angle: the Gates Foundation plowed more than $100 million into every aspect of the Common Core: the development, the evaluation, the implementation, the advocacy, on and on.
It seems that most of the nation’s grassroots are growing in Seattle, then watered inside the Beltway.

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