Opinion
Standards Letter to the Editor

Commentary Missed Five Flaws in the Common-Core Standards

October 15, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Joanne Yatvin (“How to Improve the Common Core,” Sept. 25, 2013) identifies three important problems with the Common Core State Standards and offers thoughtful solutions. But she does not address five essential problems that I believe the common-core standards have.

First, reading is conceptualized as textual analysis rather than a personal transaction between the reader and the text. There is no mention in the common core of the importance of personal connections and response.

Second, reading is conceptualized as a test-based process. There is no mention of the importance of bringing prior knowledge to reading to support comprehension.

Third, common-core instruction in many schools is dominated by scripted programs that focus on preparing students for tests. What about teaching thoughtful literacy?

Fourth, the common core has resulted in a narrowing of the curriculum that has eliminated, or greatly reduced, arts education in some schools.

Fifth, the common core has created unfunded mandates. As a result, districts are laying off teachers and making drastic cutbacks in special programs.

I also do not agree with Ms. Yatvin’s pessimism regarding the ability of critics to make the standards “go away.”

At the same time that I oppose the common core, as a teacher-educator I am committed to preparing my students to use research-based, effective practices to teach thoughtful literacy beyond the scripts that will lead to student success on the common-core tests.

Michael L. Shaw

Professor of Literacy Education

St. Thomas Aquinas College

Sparkill, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the October 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Commentary Missed Five Flaws in the Common-Core Standards

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
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
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

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

Standards Opinion How the Failure of the Common Core Looked From the Ground
Steve Peha shares insights from his on-site professional-development work about why the common core failed, in a guest letter to Rick Hess.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards Opinion Common Core Is a Meal Kit, Not a Nothingburger
Caroline Damon argues Rick Hess and Tom Loveless sold the common core short, claiming the issue was a matter of high-quality implementation.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty
Standards Opinion After All That Commotion, Was the Common Core a Big Nothingburger?
The Common Core State Standards may not have had an impact on student outcomes, but they did make school improvement tougher and more ideological.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty