One of the unsettled questions about the Common Core standards is whether they will widen or narrow the achievement gaps between children of different races and different income levels. In their first trial in Kentucky, the gap grew larger, and scores fell across the board. Some see this effect as a temporary adjustment to higher standards. Some suspect that it is intended to induce panic among parents about public education. Some see it as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to sell more stuff to schools.
This teacher read Stephen Krashen’s post last night about the Common Core and offered the following comments.
“From a teacher who has spent this year implementing CC I can tell everyone it has been a nightmare of epic proportion.
“We were already a standards based Title 1 school with great success over the past 4 years, and these past 5 months have left my students months behind. I am a great teacher, building the relationships necessary in a TItle 1 school for students to learn. I have always posted 90% and higher pass rates on the state test (not that I give any heed to those numbers – even though my job now depends on them), but I will be shocked if I hit 70% this year following this CC crap.
“The design and implementation has left my Title 1 students feeling like failures. There is no “leveling of the playing field.” If I am to salvage something from this year I will have to risk my job and fix what CC has done for my students, essentially nothing.
“There was zero thought given to low income students, how they think or how they learn. You cannot build EVERYTHING on previous learning. Anyone who teaches TItle 1 will tell you it does not work that way. The achievement gap widens, and will become irreparable in just a few years of CC.
“I sit here over my Christmas Break trying to figure out how to implement CC for the next 5 months and still catch my kids up to level. CC is not about teaching. It is about the creation of two separate educational systems, one for the haves, and one for the have nots. Sadly for my students, and more than 50% of the children in the South, they have not and CC is not helping.”