Although Proclaimed “Dead” By Betsy Devos, Here’s Why The Common Core Lives On

I have been asked why I am still publishing goal banks based on the Common Core Curriculum and I am going to answer that question. Plus, I am going to give you a good idea of where the common core curriculum is at today. To be quite frank, although they were proclaimed “dead” by Betsy Devos, they are not. If you haven’t read her 2018 address, I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to the original. The short of it is, our nation has not moved on from the Common Core Standards because all of the most recent curriculum has been create around those specific goals.

Why The Common Core Was Created

The Common Core Standards were rolled out about the year I entered the teaching field. They were created to solve two problems: how do we create a way to measure progress by state if everyone is learning different curriculum, how can we create an educational system that supports our transient families? These problems were definitely helped.

The Good Parts Of The Common Core

  • It forced a movement towards learning the “why” instead of just the skill.
  • It allowed the US government to measure progress with a standard test. This allows comparisons between states.
  • Allowed text book companies to make a standard book and reduce waste.

The Bad Parts Of The Common Core

  • Textbook companies interpreted the standards that focused on the “why” in confusing ways. The curriculum that was rolled out confused students.
  • There were a portion of students that were not mentally mature enough to make the “why” a concrete skill.
  • A new test was rolled out that teachers didn’t know how to prepare students for.
  • The number of standards on comprehension out weighed the standards focusing on actually reading.
  • They started students into reading skills much earlier than teachers were use to.
  • They didn’t follow research that states that actually reading was more important things like “interpreting poems.”

Betsy Devos Message in 2018

Betsy Devos addressed the nation in 2018 saying that even though Washington continues to try new initiatives with its schools they continues to rank the same against other nations (duh… we know if we actually want to fix academic achievement we need to fix poverty). I actually found her address well spoken. At face value, I agree with her points. As a side note, I am not sure what her intentions are by placing the responsibility to innovate education back into the state’s hands. In the address she states that the common core standards are “dead” to the department of education. That statement was important, but also doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Why The Standards Are Not Actually Dead

The Common Core Standards were not technically written by the federal government in the first place. And now we have years of curriculum, textbooks, online reading help websites, educational games, etc., all aligned with common core standards. That will take a lot of money redo. Also it’s going to take time for states to get their own standards written and rolled out.

Why Are My IEP Goal Banks Still Using The Standards

First, I have never felt vehemently opposed to the standards. It’s all in the presentation. I always have felt that standards are NOT curriculum, they are meant to be a basis for instruction. But they aren’t the instruction. As a teacher, I should (in a perfect world) be able to decide how long I am going to spend on a specific standard. I have had problems with how curriculum programs have focused on… a hem hem… stupid skills. I also dislike how much states and districts have emphasized abstract concepts to be “proficient.” Previously proficient meant the equivalent of a C grade. Now we are expecting an A across the board. So coming full circle, it’s just a standard. Let teachers use their best expertise to teach.

Second, when creating a goal bank that can be used across the country, it makes the most sense to use these. I needed a basis to create a goal from. The example IEP goals I have written can be used for any grade and age level. There are some that are more specific to the standard, but they don’t need to be.

Third, there are still teachers using the common core because they have nothing else.

Fourth and last, I am covering all my bases. Soon I will be writing goal banks based on a specific deficit found from testing. (Also I take requests if you want something specific.)

Wrapping It Up

I don’t know where the country is headed next. But the Common Core is still here for now. I also know that educating our country is more complex than ever. Without supporting the families outside of the classroom, education will never be the equalizer it was created to be. At the same time, if we allow public education to fall apart, supporting middle class and impoverished families will be nearly impossible.

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