This week, Cody took the discussion to a new level. A couple of educators asked about why we had to "throw the baby out with the bath water." Why could we not keep the CCSS without the assessments? Would that not solve matters? Cody does some great reflection on this: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/11/the_door_we_open_when_we_defea.html.
I would go a step further. Given the flaws in the construction and implementation and now the assessment of the standards and more important, given the fact that the US does not flag behind other countries once scores are controlled for the effect of poverty, I do say we need to begin from scratch. Instead of setting standards for high school and working backwards, why not focus on standards developmentally appropriate for different ages and stages and grades? Why not gather teachers together for discussions centered on key aspects of learning? Why not provide the results of this discussion to the states and permit them the freedom to create their own system of standards and not curriculum (since the standards folks argue rather disingenuously that CCSS is not curriculum)? How about funding this entire process? How about NOT making it a competition among states and districts? If Duncan and others are truly concerned with leveling the playing field, things like RttT need to disappear. Full funding needs to be given to a democratic process whereby teachers, those folks connected intimately to the classroom, can work collaboratively on developing standards that are not common, but rather standards that represent what kids are actually able to do, standards that are not about college and career ready but citizen and lifelong learner ready?