Common Core Movement Never about Teaching and Learning, Always about Testing

As of April 24, 2014, I am tired to the core of writing about the Common Core because I know three things:

  1. I’ve said everything I need to say about Common Core: (a) Arguing about the quality of the CC standards is a distraction from the essential flaw in continuing to chase better standards and tests, (b) because accountability based on standards and tests has never and will never address directly the equity problem in society and education, and (c) thus, education reform must drop the accountability paradigm and seek an alternative reform plan based on equity.
  2. Almost no one of consequence is listening to the rational and evidence-based criticisms of Common Core because of the political advantage afforded by keeping everyone convinced that the debate is mostly by loonies on the Right and loonies on the Left.
  3. And still, I feel compelled to try once again.

The discussion should focus, then, not on the quality of the Common Core or if and how those standards are being implemented, but on the very clear evidence of two things:

  1. The Common Core is a corporate-political movement designed from the beginning to disregard K-12 expertise in teaching and content.
  2. That movement also focused from the very beginning not on teaching and learning, but testing.

Since much of my argument depends on evidence and concerns about the lack of attention to the evidence, let me simply offer three places for you to consider my claims above:

  1. David Coleman is on the record, joking about the lack of expertise among those designing the Common Core; please listen.
  2. Mercedes Schneider has detailed carefully Those 24 Common Core 2009 Work Group Members.
  3. And if you need a wealth of evidence, please explore the Common Core Criticisms wiki.

If anyone is rational and diligent in examining the evidence, the only conclusion that stands before us is that the Common Core movement was never about teaching and learning, but always about testing.

And thus, as I have argued before, the Common Core debate cannot be separated from the high-stakes testing debate.

I begin this post with the date because—unless the zombie apocalypse happens—I invite anyone to return here in about 10 years when we are once again on the standards and testing Merry-Go-Round, with “better” standards and tests being championed by those decrying the failure of the Common Core movement. And that next round of advocates will be eerily similar to the list Schneider details above, mostly people who have a stake in wide-scale testing of children as a profit mechanism on the back of taxpayers in the U.S.

Kind of makes one hope for the zombie apocalypse


9 thoughts on “Common Core Movement Never about Teaching and Learning, Always about Testing

  1. Pingback: Common Core Movement Never about Teaching and Learning, Always about Testing | Educational Policy Information

  2. Pingback: Coleman has it wrong: Children are the core of our schools |

  3. Pingback: Common Core Movement Never about Teaching and Learning, Always about Testing | the becoming radical | MI ED News Clips

  4. Really worthwhile work. I am going to be commenting here ( at Vialogues on the above video if anyone wants to collaborate on some commentary. I find it hard to watch more than a few minutes of it at a time. Painful, but file under ‘know thy enemy’.

  5. Pingback: The Real “Low Expectations” Problem | the becoming radical

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