Sounding the Death Knell for Common Core and High Stakes Testing

Monday, November 30, 2015

Several items in the news recently have offered signs that the current era of Common Core curriculum and high stakes testing may be coming to and end, or at least coming to a crossroads where substantial change is imminent.

After being the impetus on a Federal level for the majority of the disastrous state education reforms which plague our schools today, the Obama administration has called for an almost complete reversal of its policy regarding high stakes standardized testing in our schools.  Kate Zernike’s article in The New York Times tells the story:

Newsday, a periodical that has been relentless in its publication of articles which attack teachers, printed an op-ed. from Lane Filler in which Filler sites education sources who tell him that our state legislature is poised to pass legislation which will stop the clock on linking student test results to teacher evaluations in New York State.

In Massachusetts, a state highly regarded for the quality of its education system and one of the forerunners in the implementation of high stakes testing and Common Core curriculum, has decided recently to abandon its use of testing linked to the flawed Common Core curriculum in favor of exams produced independently which meet the more specific goals of the students in its own state.

And all of this is happening while Governor Cuomo’s Task Force to reform Common Core curriculum and state testing is conducting listening tours around our state to get input on what changes they should make.  At each stop of the tour, task force members are they getting an earful from citizens such as the founder of the Long Island Opt-out info Facebook page Jeanette Brunelle Deutermann.

Ms. Deutermann’s goal is to raise the number of opt-outs in the state of New York to over 500,000 this year.  Well over 20% of students in the state were opted out of the state tests by their parents last year and the movement is well ahead of that pace for this year.

Whether it is the Federal government backpedaling under political pressure, our New York State legislature acting on behalf of their frustrated constituents, the leadership of other state governments abandoning Common Core curriculum and state testing, or the success of the opt-out movement by the parents, the overall message is clear; change is on the horizon, change which might sound the death knell for Common Core curriculum and standardized testing in our state.

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