School worry and test worry are common. There has become an increased focus on grades, GPAs, and a fear-based mentality that kids will not get into a good college unless they have a 4.6 GPA. Sadly, this fearful mentality has trickled down all the way to elementary school today! What is going on? And what should parents do?
In these dire times of unethical decision-making by policy makers, it's important that teachers remain grounded in moral principles that have proven timeless in preserving the promise of public education. It has been painfully evident that union leadership has settled for political maneuvering rather than unwavering principle.
What is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan? He offers increased funding, but only if his reforms on teacher evaluation and so-called merit pay are also adopted. But the reality is that using students' results on standardized tests to measure the effectiveness of teachers -- also known as Value Added Assessment (VAM) -- is simply not supported by research on the matter.
Since the beginning of bubble-in mania, also known as corporate reform, learning has typically stagnated during the winter test-prep season and halted for the school year with the April testing season. With Common Core, however, children have already taken their seats in front of computer screens and started their seemingly endless high-stakes assessments.
That said, I have also looked at the background on the CCSS and federal funding for PARCC and SBAC tests. USDE had a test-funding plan for the CCSS in April 2010, before the CCSS were published in June. By September 2010, grants were awarded to the PARCC and SBAC groups to begin test development at roughly $300 million total.