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    Posted July 18, 2014 by
    Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

    The Growing Opposition to Common Core and Standardized Testing


    Here we go again – it seems that every decade or so, we must have an attempt to improve our international educational standing by developing performance standards at some or all levels of our public education system. The current Common Core implementation, along with a national standardized test to assess student progress and mastery of these core standards, has resulted in strong and growing opposition from teachers, parents, and local school boards, all of whom have their specific objections. Perhaps we should listen to the objections of actual educators, professionals who have been trained and who must live with the implementation of the standardized testing based upon Common Core. Their extensive list of opposition points bears consideration.

    • – Tests are “homogenized,” that is, they test the same reading, English, and math skills to a vastly diversified population of students, with varied learning styles, intelligences, and methods of learning/performing.
    • – The Common Core standards were developed by a group of individuals representing corporate America, testing companies, and politicians, but a significant number of educators, special educators, and content experts were not represented.
    • – Testing companies are profiting from this new initiative and should not have been involved in the process.
    • – The Common Core and resultant testing restrict classroom teacher initiative and discourage learning activities that promote creativity and divergent (out-of-the-box) thinking. Teachers are held accountable for their students’ performance and thus will only “teach to the test.”
    • – In the area of language arts, most teachers prefer essay writing as a measure of student performance, although they do admit that the easy access of students to an essay writing company can certainly flaw results.

    Parents and local school districts have joined the growing opposition as well. In Brooklyn, New York, for example, a majority of elementary students stayed home on the days of testing, with the blessing of both their parents and students. This opting out activity may become even more widespread as opposition becomes more vocal. In West Virginia, a large and organized group has formed, complete with a website and other media presence. This group’s primary claim is that Common Core has removed local control of education and is thus unconstitutional. Other states have fully opted out of Common Core adoption, giving up an opportunity to compete for lucrative federal educational grants.

    The move to find other options to Common Core and standardized testing is certainly growing and has resulted in interesting coalitions of politicians on both the right and left, teachers, parents, and school boards, all of whom resent the lack of transparency in Common Core development, the lack of significant educator input, and the strength of corporate influence in our classrooms.

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