Over at the Pioneer Institute, Jim Stergios has a must read for the Common Core replacement commission. In fact, this is a must read for the legislators at the North Carolina General Assembly, who will be hearing from parents if the Commission is used for ‘show’ by those attempting to force a rebrand scenario.
The article addresses the false hand-wringing we saw over Race To The Top money, the unfunded mandate Common Core places onto the states and the unpredictability of future costs.
Some other main points the article draws, but pointing to Ohio and how they appear to be getting repeal done ‘right’:
First, two years is ample time to engage local communities and constituencies in the kind of public process that upholds the public trust and also can gain the level of teacher buy-in that will help make new standards effective guidance. No such buy-in is possible with Common Core because of its lack of a public process.
Second, the interim adoption of the Massachusetts standards is a cost-effective exit strategy for Ohio and other states. The fact is that Common Core requires lots of professional development, because there are pedagogical strategies embedded in the Core standards. A couple of examples will suffice: Some of the early grad math requires multiple approaches rather than standard algorithms. The high school geometry standards insist on the use of an experimental method that has not been used successfully in Western high schools. Early grade ELA includes more non-fiction than teachers have used in the past; across the board, there are non-fiction offerings that fall outside the traditional teacher preparation and likely background of English teachers.
On the other hand, Massachusetts standards will require minimal professional development. None at the high school level because the standards reflect the disciplinary background of teachers in English, mathematics, science, and history/U.S. Government. Continuing PD will be needed in reading in K-6 because of the inadequacy of reading methods courses in many schools of education and in some professional development. As Stotsky noted years ago, the Massachusetts standards were developed with teachers’ backgrounds in mind. There is not the insistence on new methods and fads. English teachers, most of whom came out of English lit majors are likely to be pretty comfortable teaching a greater amount of literature rather than jamming in lots of non-fiction extracts. As a result, costs for professional development will be much, much lower.
Third, the organization and clarity of the Massachusetts standards not only can be implemented as interim standards very easily and without lots of professional development, but they also lend themselves to greater ease of understanding to teachers and district officials. In short, they will serve more effectively as a framework for Ohio’s development of new, higher-quality standards.
Read the whole article, because it also addresses the testing consortiums like PARCC and SBAC. Here’s the link: We Now Have a Smart Exit Strategy from Common Core