Anthony Cody wonders in this post whether the Common Core standards are designed to facilitate computer grading of student essays.

Cody includes a commentary by Alice Mercer, who describes a writing task on the Common Core test. She reaches the startling conclusion that the standards were written to accommodate computer testing, which explains the limitation on background knowledge.

She writes:

“Even if my assertion that the standards were written to accommodate testing, and more specifically machine scoring of writing are wrong, these are still lousy tasks that are very low-level and not “rigorous” or cognitively demanding.”

Cody, reflecting on Mercer’s observations, writes:

“This reveals one of our basic fears as educators and parents about the Common Core and associated tests. The project is an attempt to align and standardize instruction and assessment on an unprecedented scale. The future, according to the technocrats who have designed these systems, involves computer-based curriculum and tests, and frequent checks, via computer, on student performance. And as this report in EdWeek indicates, there is great deal of money to be made. Los Angeles Unified has already spent a billion dollars on iPads, and one of the chief justifications was to prepare for computer-based assessments such as these.”