Thursday, March 12, 2015

Consider both sides of the common core debate

Sent to US News and World Report, March 12, 2015

"Opt-Out Movement About More Than Tests, Advocates Say" (March 10) notes that "for many, the jury is still out" on the common core standards and tests, citing both arguments against the the common core and as well as the results of a survey from 1000 teachers who were generally supportive of the PARCC tests.
The jury needs to know that the 1000 teachers had been paid, and gave their opinions after completing a full day of "professional development" about PARCC and the common core. The organization supporting this event, Teach Plus, is very pro-common core and is funded by an organization that supports the common core. 
In contrast, those critical of the common core are funded by nobody, and typically state their opinions at great personal risk.
The jury needs to take this into consideration.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California

Sources:
"1000 teachers had been paid … full day of 'professional development'": Mark Teoh, Susan Volbrecht, and Michael Savoy Winter 2015. 1000 Teachers Examine PARCC. Teach Plus.  Download from: http://teachplus.org/news-events/publications/1000-teachers-examine-parcc-perspectives-quality-new-assessments
Teach-plus pro-common core: http://www.teachplus.org/impact-area/common-core
Teach-plus funding is by the Hemsley Foundation. See Gwwertz, C, 2014. Teachers' Unions, Testing Consortia Team Up on Grants From Helmsley Trust http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/01/national_teachers_unions_testi.html
Great personal risk: see “Educator’s refusal to give PARCC called into question by district,” March 1 Denver Post, and response: http://skrashen.blogspot.mx/2015/03/parcc-should-be-called-into-question.html

Original article: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/10/as-students-opt-out-of-common-core-exams-some-say-movement-is-not-about-testing

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