Try as The Advocate might to cover the Common Core controversies with a fig leaf (Our Views, Oct. 7), the fact remains that the new standards were implemented so poorly and unevenly as to guarantee the suspicions and cognitive dissonance that still haunt Common Core today.
The night before your regurgitation of CABL’s Common Core talking points, six Board of Elementary and Secondary Education candidates — half of whom are endorsed by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry — all agreed that the standards were poorly implemented by the state, not by teachers, local schools or school boards but by the Louisiana Department of Education. It was one of those rare political kumbaya moments.
As soon as the new standards were approved by the state board in 2010, those who steered the ship turned their attention away from Common Core and sailed away and on to vouchers, the radical expansion of charter schools and a teacher evaluation revamp that promises to be in perpetual revision.
At first, school districts were promised much in the area of guidance and resources. Then, that promise was amended to read, essentially, “You’re on your own.”
As school opened in 2013, some districts reported that they were instructed to go online and copy the New York state math curriculum. Math teachers struggled to learn in just a few days an entirely new teaching system.
The result of the state’s botched implementation is evident in the test scores reluctantly released a couple of days ago. According to one report, students got an average of just 38.1 percent of questions right on the new PARCC tests.
Sorry, CABL, and sorry, Advocate, but in this case, it’s not the fault of kids, their parents, our teachers or school districts. Common Core has become a controversy because those in charge chose “all of the above” as their answer to everything and “none of the above” in regard to their responsibilities.
Saturday is our chance to choose wisely. Become informed and vote.
president, Louisiana Federation of Teachers