Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday saw two positive developments affecting the Common Core curriculum that are steps in the right direction for American public education.
First, the District of Columbia public school system announced yesterday that it would suspend the practice of using test scores to evaluate teachers while students adjust to new tests based on Common Core standards.
Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced the decision, saying officials are concerned it wouldn’t be fair to use the new tests until a baseline is established and any complications are worked out.
The District has fired hundreds of teachers under the system, which was put in place by Henderson’s predecessor, Michelle Rhee. Test scores make up 35 percent of evaluations for those who teach students in the tested grades and subjects.
Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the two largest teachers’ unions in calling for a temporary halt to evaluating teachers based on Common Core tests. The foundation has spent more than $200 million implementing the Common Core standards nationwide.
The chutzpah of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is appalling. With its influence peddling “grants” to the tune of $200 million, it rush the Common Core through the U.S. Department of Education and state education departments and now it joins the AFT and NEA in a call for a moratorium.
Second, on the heels of saying he would not be “bullied by the federal government” any longer, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced Wednesday that he plans to pull his state out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Jindal issued a series of executive orders calling for the state to come up with “Louisiana standards and a Louisiana test” in place of the “one size fits all” Common Core standards.
“We won’t let the federal government take over Louisiana’s education standards,” Jindal read from a prepared statement at a Baton Rouge press conference. “We’re very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators. Common Core has not been fully implemented yet in Louisiana, and we need to start the process over. It was rushed in the beginning and done without public input.”
Basically good news!