On Thursday, I had the opportunity to watch a webinar from the Fordham Institute and Democrats for Education Reform. Right out the gate, at minute 3:25, I was surprised at what I heard. Michael Petrelli, Executive VP at Fordham, a strong supporter of the Common Core Standards said, “…using the Common Core as the standards and then the Common Core assessments as the measures of whether or not schools are getting kids where they need to be, that that works and it makes a lot of sense. It’s based on a hypothesis, the hypothesis being that if students do well against those standards and do well on the Common Core tests, …that the hypothesis is that then the students will be able to go on and do well in college or go on and get a good paying job. And I think that hypothesis makes sense. We can’t prove it right now. But I think it all makes sense.”
He goes on to say, “Some schools of choice should be able to opt out. Common Core may not be a good fit. Schools that are going to be on the far progressive end of the spectrum, who say we just don’t believe in testing as a measure of what kids are going to be able to do. An example would be High Tech High, California. Their kids don’t test well on state tests, but college going and college graduates are through the roof. There are some very high performing schools, such as very affluent suburban schools and other magnet, private or charter schools that should not be forced to adopt the CCSS, it will not be a good fit for them. I worry about making good schools look bad.”
I thought the Common Core Standards were internationally benchmarked to the highest performing nations in the world.
Students at High Tech High, a charter school in California, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “do not do well on state tests, but their college going and college graduation rates are through the roof.” What is that? State test results have nothing to do with college going and college graduation rates? The Bill and Melinda Gates funded Common Core Standards, are not a benchmark, by which the Bill and Melinda Gates funded charter school, High Tech High, should be judged? We know that Sidwell Friends, the affluent private school the Obama girls attend, will not be adopting or even aligning to the Common Core. So why should my children and grandchildren by judged by the Common Core and it’s assessments?
The question so many ask is, “Where is the empirical evidence that Common Core Standards, it’s teaching methods and assessments, have been tested and proven?” Well, Michael Petrelli just answered that. The Common Core is a hypothesis.