The Stranger has an article (which I am in) about Common Core. I actually didn't know that the main thrust of it was about some Seattle Schools' teachers who plan to boycott the Common Core assessments.
It seems to me like the same wolf in different sheep's clothing. How
could we not boycott that?" says one longtime high-school teacher. "We
objected to the MAP test because we didn't know to what standards it was
addressed," she explains, and because it took time away from classrooms
and computer labs. Moreover, the teachers couldn't look at the tests
before having their students take it. "Smarter Balanced has all those
disadvantages, but in addition, it's teaching to standards that have
never been vetted in a classroom or by teachers," she says.
This could be the first-ever teacher boycott of Obama's new standards
and testing regimen, with the potential to set a precedent for the rest
of the country. Critics say corporate education reform titans like the
Gates Foundation developed Common Core without input from teachers.
The district says some interesting things:
The district's testing administrators told me they expect students who
take the Smarter Balanced Assessments to experience a drop compared to
previous tests by 20 to 25 percent (which shouldn't be cause for alarm,
they say, since the bar has simply been raised).
No cause for alarm? Tell that to parents - is my kid doing okay or not?
The district maintains that it's communicating strongly with parents
while teachers receive training to teach the new standards, which it
says will better prepare students to compete on the world stage.
Strongly communicated? I'd have to see the evidence.
Unfortunately the article is more about a possible boycott than the real issues of Common Core. But I think raising awareness what's coming is always a good idea.