A reader proposes a way to make the Common Core work for students:

I would use the Common Core standards a bit differently. I’d expand on what I did a couple of years ago when I was in the classroom teaching with Moodle and Google.docs and a variety of devices. See-http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2010/09/writing-the-elephant-in-the-living-room.html where I wrote about it.

With the Common Core, I’d encourage the students to try to make sense of the wording in the CC and then to choose which ones they’d like to accomplish and let them decide how they would accomplish that learning. They could post their learning products in a Moodle Database and let their peers and their teachers comment. Anyone with appropriate access could also see the learning products and comment. Some of those products could be posted on district-wide learning product showcases. I think with a litttle effort all of the schools in the country could do a collective learning fair on the standards, ribbons optional. There would be all kinds of different examples of how students from around the country demonstrated their learning of each standard, or as many as they got to that year.

Schools and teachers can choose not to use the standardized tests that the big corporations sell; they’re free to build their own assessments and correlate them to the standards. I’m an advocate, too, of using technology like iPads and BYOT environments to do formative assessments; multiple choice questions can be great learning tools if used right. See – http://www.naiku.net/

Teachers and schools just need to stand up and speak up. The standards aren’t the problem. Claiming authority of teaching and learning is the issue. Teachers and schools need not abrogate authority to entitiies outside of their schools.