In Louisiana,we have to use only Chapters 16-18 of Charlotte’s Web, a 4th grade level book, in SECOND grade. So they start a book missing 15 chapters of getting to know that Charlotte is a spider, Wilbur is a pig, and Fern is a girl and loving the characters.
— Vicky Johnston (@VickyJohnston61) October 31, 2019
Schools push 2-3 page passages in the name of "close reading" because that's IMO aligned to high-stakes testing. Kids are made to read and reread and "cite" "text evidence" to answer Qs, and from personal experience kids come out just hating reading. Kids need to read BOOKS! Ugh!
— Annie Tan (@AnnieTangent) October 31, 2019
I don’t doubt that few if any of its original proponents now mention Common Core – given its abysmal failure to improve results in our schools -- but that doesn’t mean that millions of students and teachers aren’t still wrestling with its flaws every day in classrooms throughout the nation, as evidenced by the above tweets.
In any case, the last quote in the Times article was from Jim Cowen, the executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, an organization established to promote the Common Core standards, decrying how the state tests -- those explicitly aligned with the standards -- have become too easy and there was a need for "accountability" -- but not apparently for those who promoted the flawed standards themselves.
Moreover, the other experts quoted decried the emphasis on short passages rather than allowing students read longer books with richer meanings and larger contexts, without specifically mentioning the Common Core.
Peter Afflerbach, an expert on reading and testing at the University of Maryland, called the eighth-grade declines “troubling” and “precipitous,” especially for the lowest-achieving students saying that "too many schools have assigned elementary students short passages instead of challenging them with longer, thematically rich texts and books.The new eighth-grade results show the students haven’t developed the reading comprehension to deal with text complexity."
One more trend may have contributed to the decline in reading scores over the last few years. There has been a sharp increase in the use of digital reading programs across the country – with a survey from Common Sense Media revealing that 94 percent of English/language arts teachers say that they used them for core curriculum at least several times a month. This is despite a wealth of research that suggests that reading comprehension suffers when reading is done on screens.
#CommonCore has done more damage to a generation of students than #NCLB did, by far. We predicted this well before implementation. @arneduncan and @BillGates didn’t listen. Neither did @BarackObama. Still we are stuck with Common Core. Why? pic.twitter.com/zUOjVjMdKd
— Susan DuFresne (@GetUpStandUp2) November 1, 2019
An Ed Week analysis of the just-released NAEP data found that in both grades 4 and 8, students who spent more time on digital devices in English class scored lower on these exams. Look at this astonishing graphic - showing that 65% of students who scored below basic on the NAEPs spent four hours or more of classroom time on screens per day. Whether this association is due to correlation or causation, it is a highly disturbing trend:
According to the more reliably scaled NAEPs, in no subject or grade do the NYC scores come close to the average in the rest of the state – even though the state scores too have stagnated over the last decade. Also confirmed was my prediction in 2016 that we have entered yet another era of state test score inflation.
And yet for some inconceivable reason, the NY State Education Department has chosen to work with the primary funder of the Common Core, as well as one of the organizations that set our nation’s schools on the wrong path, to help guide their deliberations on this important issue.