Opinion
School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Common-Core Standards Require Nuanced, Multifaceted Analysis

August 05, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Too often, people evaluating the Common Core State Standards movement conflate the standards as learning goals with implementation factors and associated testing/accountability systems. A more nuanced analysis demands a consideration of the following five dimensions:

• The standards themselves. Overall, are these worthy goals, even if people may disagree with the placement of a few of the grade-level standards?

• Standards implementation. Is the timeline realistic? Have teachers been given proper training and support to teach to the standards?

• The associated tests. Are these appropriate measures of all the standards? Can we draw valid inferences from once-a-year “snapshot” tests?

• The use of assessment results. Are test results being used in defensible ways (e.g., when used to sanction schools or in teacher evaluation)?

• Politics. Have the common-core standards been unfairly politicized (e.g., labeled as “Obamacore,” implying that the federal government has taken over education)?

My view is that unless people can separate and critically judge each of these dimensions, the problems of rushed implementation, testing craziness, or politics will derail the effort.

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bath water and return to a patchwork of 50 different sets of state standards and tests?

Jay McTighe

Education Consultant

Columbia, Md.

A version of this article appeared in the August 06, 2014 edition of Education Week as Common-Core Standards Require Nuanced, Multifaceted Analysis

Events

Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion 'I Don't Know What to Do': Facing Today's Education Leadership Challenges
Here are three concrete steps for getting ahead of controversies and creating a supportive learning environment for every student.
Jennifer Perry Cheatham & Bonnie Lo
5 min read
A leader encourages a large group of people across a bridge made of pencils. Proactive leadership.
Raul Arias for Education Week
School & District Management Who Trains the Trainers in the ‘Science of Reading?’
How three districts help their principals learn, practice, and sustain the “science of reading” implementation in their schools.
5 min read
First grader Geniss Gibbs practices reading skills at Eastern Elementary School in Washington, N.C., on May 23, 2022.
First grader Geniss Gibbs practices reading skills at Eastern Elementary School in Washington, N.C., on May 23, 2022.
Kate Medley for Education Week
School & District Management Photos Six Years After Parkland Tragedy, Crews Demolish a Painful Reminder
The school building in Florida where a gunman killed 17 people is being pulled down. Victims' families have toured the site with lawmakers to push for change.
4 min read
Students, teachers, victims' families and passersby watch, Friday, June 14, 2024, as crews start the demolition of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building where 17 people died in the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. Officials plan to complete the weeks-long project before the school's 3,300 students return in August from summer vacation.
Students, teachers, and victims' families are among those watching on June 14, 2024, as crews start the demolition of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people died in the 2018 mass shooting. Officials plan to complete the weeks-long project before students return from summer vacation.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
School & District Management Download 'Science of Reading' Learning Walks: 4 Things for Principals to Look For
An instructional guide for school leaders to help implement shifts in reading practices.
1 min read
Photograph of a Black male teacher in the classroom with clipboard observing elementary students.
E+