Do me a favor, would you?
Take a few minutes, right now, and read Tom Hoffman‘s “10 Reasons You Should Care About the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s Draft English Language Arts Standards.” He’s doing the thinking and linking that needs to be happening around these proposed standards. Folks need to be reading and talking about the points that he’s raising. Here’s a taste:
We are inviting testing companies to determine the future of our schools with virtually no accountability or public input.
These standards were developed by two testing companies, the College Board and ACT, with help from a nebulous non-profit, Achieve, Inc. It is essential to understand this when reading the Common Standards; it explains many of their odd choices. In the example above, the obvious interpretation is that they chose to define the standard as “support or challenge assertions” rather than “construct a response or interpretation,” as every international example they cited did, because the former is much easier and cheaper to score reliably on a standarized test.
No high performing educational system in the world would consider giving testing companies this much control over their standards and curriculum. It is absurd.
After you’ve read the post, please link to, print out and mail, e-mail, or do whatever you need to do to share it with smart folks you know interested in language arts. Tom’s right – the wrong people are having their say in a pretty important conversation and the validation committee‘s pretty light on language artists. Public comment on the standards is open until October 21st. There’s time, but not much. Tell folks that you know or that you think should know.
You’ll share this, right?