In a speech recently which didn’t draw a lot of media attention (understandably, given everything else that’s going on), Education Secretary Betsy DeVos weighed in on the “Common Core” program’s current status. She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency.
Here is my brief reflection on her announcement.
I’m happy to say I will “toast” the passing of Common Core.
Although, I believe we need to have some norms to gauge where students are relative to standards, I think we have too much testing going on in schools and not enough good old-fashioned teaching.
People who know me know that I believe “all politics are local.” I think that local boards should strike a different balance when it comes to testing. Only the boards, fighting with unions and angry parents, can truly get the job done. Mandates from “on high” are mostly irrelevant.
As a seasoned educator, and from my work with ACT/SAT preparation, I have learned that there are still major gaps in English and Math among the vast majority of students. Even though I know that we need to move away from rote memorization, language conventions and pre-algebra concepts need to get more attention from teachers. These concepts are sorely lacking.
Perhaps we should have a local town hall and talk about it some more.
David Thompson, M.A., CTS, GAL, Tutor