In my job out of college as a consultant, one of my projects involved visiting public school classrooms in Ohio and talking to teachers, and their view was very much that teaching-to-the-test was constraining them in some unhelpful ways."
I adore this quote from Nate Silver, and of course I agree with him as well. I think one of the toughest things about objective measures has to do with the fact that we teach people and not just subject matter.
Speaking of quotes, there have been some commenters on the blog asking for the sources of the articles I have referred to in posts recently. When I do not provide the link, I generally provide the title of the article. This should permit anyone interested to do a keyword search for the article itself. I know some of the authors of these articles are attempting to assist teachers who have been forced to adopt CCSS. And I suppose I could do that as well. But there is sufficient rebel in me that prevents me from writing articles or even making lists of possible exemplar texts.
I read a piece today online about those poor unfortunate CCSS authors who never intended for the texts in their appendices to be taken as THE canon for CCSS. No, those titles are there because they did not have to obtain permission to use them: they are public domain. There fore, CCSS could use them free of charge. Of course they will add to the exemplar lists once they can secure permissions to use other texts OT from 3 decades or 3 centuries ago. So maybe I should be happy that there is a paucity of exemplar texts from this century or that these are texts I can dissect without paying the author of her or his estate some sort of surgical fees. Instead, I cannot help but wonder WHY WHY WHY this document was released without a better list of books and texts, why footnotes contain (or so we are told) essential information, and why there is no acknowledgment that we teach kids and not standards.
I will end with this quote which sums up the arrogance and disregard the authors of CCSS have for authentic literature and authentic kids and lifelong reading:
"The very worst that can be said about an over-reliance on text-dependent questions is that it’s an overdue market correction. As any teacher can tell you, it’s quite easy to glom on to an inconsequential moment in a text and produce reams of empty “text-to-self” meandering using the text as nothing more than a jumping off point for a personal narrative. The skill, common to most state standards, of “producing a personal response to literature” does little to demonstrate a student’s ability to read with clarity, depth and comprehension."
Riiiiight. More about this in later posts.