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24 May 2016 @ 11:55 am
Grating Expectations  
The headline reads that the Gates Foundation is doubling down on CCSS: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gates-foundation-doubling-down-on-common-core/article/2592035. Last week, Campbell Brown was throwing around data (incorrectly), now we are being teased here that Kentucky is showing more CCR thanks to CCSS without any reference to data. This is par for the course. And I suspect it will take some time for the real (actual) and long term data to demonstrate otherwise (see RtI and NCLB debacles, for example), but this is what caught my eye: "When educators have clear and consistent expectations of what students should be able to do at the end of each year, the bridge to opportunity opens," Desmond-Hellmann writes. "The Common Core State Standards help set those expectations."

Somehow, this implies that before CCSS, there were no clear and consistent goals and expectations for students. I have to wonder, then, what was being done in all those classrooms for all those years? It seems to me that I had a curriculum (from the state) with objectives I was charged with covering in my classes. I had a scope and sequence; I had course materials (textbooks, etc.) and, surprisingly I had expectations. I still do.


1. I expect my students to continue on the road to lifelong learning, lifelong reading, lifelong writing. For some, this will be a new journey, a new road. However, for most, this is a road well-travelled; I will travel it along with them.

2. I expect my students to deepen their appreciation of the written word. This will not happen in arduous lessons of close reading. This will happen through read alouds, booktalks, conversations, and conferences.

3. I expect my students to share their authentic responses with me.

4. I expect that my students will share what they are learning in a variety of ways (and they get to personalize that way, mode, method, product).

5. I expect my students will develop their own reading interests, preferences, habits.

I do not need a corporation to design aligned materials for me. Believe it or not, I am capable of doing this. It was part of my teacher education program, and it continues to be part of my learning every single day (for instance, today I am going on a data scavenger hunt across campus to begin a course in using social media data in new ways).

I resent the tone, intended or not, of this piece. It suggests that, if CCSS reformers only knew what would happen with a shift in standards, they might have been better prepared. Could this oversight be explained, in part, by the fact that the chief authors of CCSS did not have much teaching experience or background?
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