Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times in a recent editorial urged the U.S. Department of Education not to rush the implementation of the Common Core curriculum. The editorial recommended:
“[The Common Core curriculum] will require states to change just about everything: curriculum, principal and teacher training, textbooks. At the same time, agreements that most states have made with the Department of Education will require them to institute teacher and school evaluation systems that take student test scores into account, based on year-to-year progress. In many states, the first evaluation will be partly based on old tests that have nothing to do with new learning standards. This could undermine confidence in the reform and give teachers an incentive to ignore the new curriculum.
The answer is not to stop the reform effort. The states should proceed with the new curriculum and non-test aspects of the evaluation system, like classroom observation of teachers, and critiques of lesson plans. But the Education Department should give states the flexibility to refrain from penalizing schools or teachers based on the test data for at least a year, until an evaluation system for the Common Core is validated. This would only be common sense.”
This indeed makes sense. The U.S. DOE has to refrain from accelerating its program and allow states and localities the time to fit the new curriculum requirements into schools.