Shots Fired! Common Core Heating Up

Two Common Core items that bear watching.

At HuffPo CCCSO’s Chris Minnich pushes back on AFT’s Randi Weingarten about Common Core implementation.  He calls her claims “unfounded assertions.”  The subtext here is increasing frustration with union efforts to stir up trouble on Common Core in New York as part of an effort to get an accountability moratorium.  Weingarten is right that implementation is not where it needs to be – anywhere. But Minnich is clearly right that this is the most robust effort implement standards and support teachers ever.  Weingarten is playing for internal audiences though and the game for her is getting a moratorium on stakes and consequences she can show frustrated members. That effort is doing damage to Common Core, however, at a time the standards push can ill-afford it.

In Baltimore County the teachers union filed a grievance claiming Common Core is increasing workloads too much.  Keep an eye on this one.  If this idea gets legs it’s exactly the sort of “heads I win, tails you lose” political wedge that, yes you guessed it, Common Core can ill-afford right now. Common Core opponents would like nothing more than to see the union prevail on this one.

Given the increasingly hostile political climate keep an eye on pols running for the exits.  Earlier this week, in the wake of a poll showing concern about testing and weaker than expected approval numbers New York Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the possibility of Common Core changes in New York…

If the Common Core strategy is some sort of rope-a-dope play then it looks like it is working. Otherwise, proponents need to get in the political fight – like Minnich did today – fast.

6 Replies to “Shots Fired! Common Core Heating Up”

  1. Let’s unpack the politics of Common Core a little more Andy. Is the issue here inept political skills by Common Core proponents, successful road kill by Tea Party radicals in a bigger battle about the value of government or simply public confusion about what we’re really aiming for with Common Core?

    Seems to me that the 3rd issue–public confusion, is giving both opponents and proponents an opening to keep up their battles and be distracted from the real, hard work of implementation of new standards, new assessment, new content, and new measures of teacher effectiveness. This is a sensible package but it’s been presented in such a piecemeal fashion that we’ve cheated ourselves of the natural support for better, smarter and more equitable investments in our children that is out in the real world in spades. If we broaden the circle and simplify the message, we could succeed in marginalizing the fighters–on both “sides” Want to give it a go with us at New Voice Strategies? The VIVA Idea Exchange is the perfect tool.

  2. My state implemented Common Core last year. It has been a terrible decision. I find Common Core as a way to “dumb down” our kids. The only people supporting this in our state are the officials that decided to force it upon the teachers to teach. I like how the government can come up with ingenious ideas, push them on us, then say everything is going great without our insight. Well, sounds like the typical government system at work.

  3. Arizona implemented Common Core a few years ago but pushed it aside since our state still has the AIMS test. We are now in full effect with Common Core even though this is the last year for AIMS. Common Core was such a huge transition for us and we were trained but not in depth. Our standards shifted completely and now eighth grade standards are being taught in sixth grade. It truly is scary because some of the sixth graders are no where near a sixth grade level and the rigor of these standards will unfortunately push them far behind. I understand where our state is going with Common Core, but, I think we need to analyze these standards and unpack them to really see what the overall goal is.

  4. We are currently implementing both Common Core and a teacher evaluation system. It all feels overwhelming and we are devoting a great deal of time to both. However, we are not spending enough time on these two areas individually. The idea behind Common Core is great, but a problem in our building is a lack of understanding in how to use them. We are struggling with aligning our current programs to Common Core and what activities fit into what standard. The staff in our building are suffering from information overload with a lack of information to effectively more forward on either.

  5. Since the end of last school year we have began implementing Common Core. It does seem to be overwhelming with all of these changes. I have been to a couple professional developments on scoring different writing assessments for the PARCC and still feel like I need more training. I am also concerned that this will be another program that will be implemented for 3-5 years and then someone will decide that this isn’t working and there will be a new program put in its place.

  6. Common Core implementation in the nation has been sloppy at best. I see some places that are all in, but in many places, you hear administration say it is being implemented, but the teachers really have no clue. My issue is that there has not been enough professional development ahead of time to prepare teachers for the shift. We are supposed to be using a new math curriculum from Engage NY, but they do not even have the whole curriculum available yet. My school has a couple of teachers starting to align, but then others that essentially refuse to do so. Also, we will be implementing a new teacher evaluation system in the near future. On top of that, my district in particular on its 5th superintendent in 8 years.

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