Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards. And those concerns are well-placed.
"Teaching to the test" is a monumental miscalculation reminiscent of the bleeding practiced by doctors in previous centuries. Coercing thousands of students to focus all of their attention on achieving good scores on a few "core" subjects does not make them smarter, even if they do score better on tests.
What our schools don't need is more bureaucracy from outside interests. The children of millionaires and billionaires attend private schools with small class sizes and fully staffed campuses. Why is it that what's good enough for the children of millionaires and billionaires isn't good enough for all students?
Will the powers-that-be continue to be more concerned with creating a testing and data system that ranks and sorts schools and educators, in the quest for the perfect industrial algorithm to judge teachers, students and schools? Or will they look at the evidence and join educators, students and parents in fighting to reclaim the promise of public education?