Professional Experience and Personal Reflections
by Lisa Bowstead, Founder

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Is the Common Core a Bad Idea?  
March 9, 2013

Overall, I like the new Common Core standards better than what NY State was working with in previous years (once they shake-out the excessive wordiness and the socio-economic biases, that is). The new standards hold the student accountable not only for correct answers, but sound, Mathematical explanations. I like the idea of teaching our students to be thinkers. It's a GREAT idea. 

NY State announced the changes in the standards three years ago. Yes, our educators and administrators have known for THREE YEARS that the new test would be administered in the Spring of 2013. There's actually a Federal law that prevents government agencies from defining curriculum, but it does not prevent them from setting standards and then measuring proficiency. 

The question is, who *IS* responsible for defining the curriculum? 

All I see is students and parents and teachers and schools in a panic to prepare for the new test. Within NYC, each student, teacher and school's very future is directly and immediately determined by their performance on these tests. How will NYC determine student promotion, MS and HS admissions, teacher retention and school closures, if the results of the test are not viable because the vast majority of students across the state have not yet been taught the material? 

This horribly bureaucratic situation is about to play a VERY NASTY JOKE on NYC's public school system!!