The widespread demonstrations offered by parents illustrating poorly designed homework and tests used by their child’s school are being dismissed by faithful supporters of the Common Core Standards (CCS). While they acknowledge there are problems with the curricula schools are using, they maintain the standards are not to blame. The problems stem from a lack of properly interpreting the standards by textbook publishers, school districts and teachers.
A reader sent me a post from the Fordham Institute’s blog written by Kathleen Porter-Magee claiming the fuzzy math and poor literature selections stem from the schools NOT following Common Core alignment.
“most of the criticisms are being leveled against curricula that are not well aligned to the standards themselves. While programs that deemphasize this critical content and these important skills can claim alignment, the truth is that they are not aligned.”
Derek Redelman from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce holds the same opinion. His tweets from the State Board of Education meeting show his disdain for “uninformed” parents who testified against the standards and showed examples from their child’s new Common Core math lessons.
“Common Core opponents continue to demo little knowledge about standards. All complaints @insboe are textbook & curriculum choices.”
Their message is that parents just don’t understand and should direct their anger towards those responsible for developing, writing, choosing and teaching the selected materials, not the standards they are based on. Are they of the opinion that all the textbook companies, school districts, teacher development programs, curriculum designers and teachers in both public and private schools got it wrong? Many of the complaints come from textbooks published by Pearson who played a major role in the development of the standards and was chosen to write test-items for the two Common Core aligned assessments, PARCC and Smarter Balance. It’s difficult to believe they didn’t fully understand standards with which they are so intimately involved.
Is there a textbook that is completely aligned to the math standards that Redelman and Magee would recommend? If these complaints about CCS are unjustified and the result of poor implementation is due to school boards and districts making poor curriculum decisions then they should speak up and recommend textbooks that are 100% aligned to the standards. It would be much simpler for CCS supporters to show us these examples rather than publicly criticizing those trying to improve their children’s education. It is a divisive way to argue and only throws gasoline on the fires that rage against the Common Core.