Teacher: The ‘Disturbing’ Things I Learned About Common Core

By Kassondra Granata


testing_sm_5The implementation of Common Core tests have started in classrooms across the country, and students and teachers are sharing their experiences. Emily Talmage, an elementary school teacher in Lewiston, Maine, “did some research on the new Common Core tests that her students are taking this spring,” according to an article on WashingtonPost.com. “In Maine, students are taking the Maine Educational Assessments in math and English Language Arts, developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of the two multi-state consortia given a total of some $360 million in federal funds to develop new exams that align with the Core standards. In this post, Talmage reports on what she found,” the article said. Talmage shared her research in an article featured on WashingtonPost.com.

Here’s what she wrote: “First, no matter what my students and I do, statistics have already shown that my students will more than likely fall below proficient on this test,” the article said. “In the field test given a year ago, 91 percent of English Language Learners and nearly 80 percent of low-income students did not meet proficient. My class is comprised of 40 percent English language learners and nearly 100 percent are low-income.” Talmage offers three other key points to summarize what she found after her research. Her last point, Talmage wrote, is ” I will not be able to see the test as my students take it.” “I will not be allowed to look at their scrap paper,” she wrote. “I will not even be able to talk with my colleagues about the test – before, during, or after.

These are all provisions outlined in a lengthy security agreement that all teachers were required to sign prior to administering the test.” So, how will a test that by its design is likely show that my school, my students and I are all failing, that was developed by ‘assessment experts’ rather than teachers, that will no doubt funnel a tremendous amount of taxpayer money to wealthy corporate shareholders and away from our classrooms, and that I won’t be able to see or discuss with my colleagues [let alone my students!] help me in my mission to improve the quality of education I offer my students each day? Read the full story and comment below. Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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