To the Editor:
States are still not getting it as far as implementation of the Common Core State Standards goes.
A classic example is California. Additional funds are pouring in to schools specifically to accelerate common-core implementation. However, the funds come with little or no guidance. Districts are on their own.
How are they spending the funds? Many are using the money to ramp up their technology infrastructure to be able to take the coming tests. This includes Internet, bandwidth issues, and computers or tablets, and the cost is unbelievably high. Some California districts are using the funds for salaries, positions, and buy-backs of school days. These are necessary expenditures.
What continues to be omitted is professional development, except in a cursory way, and development of a viable articulated curriculum.
Having a great technology system for testing and more days of instruction without focused attention to what is specifically taught and how it is taught will not improve achievement. With a lack of accountability from Sacramento and slim state leadership on curriculum and instruction, schools are on their own. Teachers are writing their own lessons, coherence has gone out the window, and resistance is growing.
California is not alone. A scattershot approach exists across the country. This is a sure recipe for failure as teachers in many states watch warily, wondering what will be the next shiny reform to hit them.
Common-core syndrome, which I wrote about in an Aug. 28, 2013, Commentary (“The Cure for Common-Core Syndrome”) is spreading rapidly.
Chief Executive Officer
Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education
A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Common-Core Funding Must Address Implementation