Accountability Childhood Common Core New York

Lisa Eggert Litvin: Why is New York Sticking with Common Core?

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The subject of standards and assessments is very much up in the air. Most of the states that signed on to administer either of the federally funded Common Core tests–PARCC and SBAC–have dropped out. A few states have abandoned Common Core, while others are calling it something else. There is a growing trend among states that drop PARCC or SBAC to substitute the SAT or the ACT, but neither of these tests were designed as high school graduation tests or as “college-and-career-ready tests.” They are supposed to predict readiness for college, but have nothing to do with career-readiness. Nor does it make sense to leave the Common Core tests and to adopt instead one of the college entrance examinations, not only because they are inappropriate, but because they are aligned with Common Core. David Coleman, heralded as the “architect” of the Common Core, is now president of the College Board. Representatives of the ACT were members of the small group that wrote the Common Core standards. The system has been designed so that students are stuck with Common Core whichever way the state turns, unless it writes its own standards and tests.

Lisa Eggert Litvin, president emeritus of the Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA and co-chair of the New York Suburban Consortium for Public Education wonders why New York continues to hang on to the Common Core standards even though Governor Cuomo’s task force said they should be completely revised.

She notes that early childhood experts have excoriated the standards as developmentally inappropriate. As a result of the Common Core standards, she says,

children’s love for learning is dissipating rather than growing. Parents report that their children don’t want to go to school, that they feel like failures if they can’t read, that there’s no time for play or choice, and that the children are exhausted — in kindergarten. Children lose confidence and feel insecure, all because they aren’t reaching standards that, for many, simply cannot be reached at their stage of development, or because of their challenges.

Yet despite what children are feeling, despite the detailed findings of the Task Force, despite the loss of learning that is occurring, CC is slated to remain in effect well into the future. Specifically, the transition to replacement standards outlined by the Task Force will take several years, until fall 2019 at the earliest — with CC staying in place in the interim.

This makes no sense. Instead, the CC standards should be be put on hold, and already existing, well regarded non-CC standards should instead be used in the interim — just as is being done in other states.

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