Last Saturday, the Washington State Democratic Party passed resolution 707 opposing the Common Core State Standards by a margin of over two to one.
Like the coming snowstorm here in the Northeast, let's hope this is the start of a political blizzard. Teacher activist Susan DuFresne has issued a press release together with David Spring and Elizabeth Hanson to help get the word out. Increasingly, mainstream media is simply not covering important education stories with due diligence, perhaps because education journalists tend to have a lower status and do little investigative reporting compared to their colleagues. To help meet the public's need for information on growing resistance to high stakes testing and the Common Core, bloggers such as Anthony Cody provide a reliable alternative.
I got my elementary teaching credential at the University of Washington and taught in the Edmonds School District just north of Seattle for four years before returning to graduate school to complete my PhD. Back in the mid-1990s, there were no high stakes tests. There was a concerted effort on the part of the district to involve expert teachers in developing performance assessment tasks, and I worked on the ones in elementary math together with colleagues. The test prep I provided for my class prior to the one standardized test given in the spring was a homework packet and some test taking strategies. Oh, the (g)olden days! Now test prep IS curriculum, and we've been swimming in those toxic waters long enough for it to seem almost normal in the city schools where I work with my student teachers. It's increasingly clear that we need the solid backing of parents to persuade politicians to say enough is enough.
In an effort to help educate the public on the growing problematic misuse of standardized tests, I published my first op-ed piece last week in the Journal News
Please have a look, share if so inclined, and comment if you have something to say.