The Common Core is a set of Standards. Nothing about the way that the Common Core Standards were devised and implemented has been perfect. The assessments- Smarter Balanced and PARCC- are a separate entity, but related. The assessments give me pause. I'm not sold on the amount of time we spend on this type of testing, I'm not sold on the quality of the assessment questions, I'm not sold on the way the results are used, and I'm not sold that there is all that much correlation between the test results (macro) and our future economic success as a nation. I am not someone who readily accepts that the Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessments are going to save us from whatever it is that ails us.
I think various shades of that sentiment are shared by a lot of people within the educational establishment. I know some who are more bullish than me on either the Common Core or the Smarter Balanced Assessments, and others with even deeper reservations.
However, what really drives me insane are the people trying to link the Common Core to socialism, homosexuality, communism, one world government, and promiscuity. Seriously people? There are reasonable concerns that one can raise against the Common Core and the Accountability Movement. Claiming that the United States is going to be a bunch of 'everybody gets a trophy' homosexuals reading pornographic literature while living under Sharia law in a secular progressive socialist communist utopia where everyone has equal access to health care and no access to guns is NOT one of those reasonable concerns.* (And yes, I get the irony of placing these discrepant concepts altogether. Sadly, many of the loudmouthed critics do not. Or- they do get it, but are playing on the fears and ignorance of those they are trying to persuade.)
*None of these are included by random accident. I have attended several anti-Common Core events and have heard every one of these raised as a concern. I didn't include a couple of the more carnal claims.
Assess the situation for yourself:: Compare the current Model Academic Standards with the Common Core Standards and ask yourself which one has more academic rigor. Or, scour the Common Core standards for evidence of any of the claims made by the hyperbolic critics. Here is a link to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards:
Here is a copy of one slide from the link above:
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for reading
The K–5 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by
the end of each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards
below by number. The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former
providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and
understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Key Ideas and details
1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific
textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting
details and ideas.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and
figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g.,
a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as
well as in words.*
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well
as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the
approaches the authors take.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.