By Jon Saphier -- October 17, 2014
The Common Core State Curriculum is a big step forward, but also an enormously demanding one. These standards raise the bar significantly for students’ ability to read, write, think, analyze, argue for, and organize their thinking. More than anything, these standards demand that all teachers teach all students the metacognitive thinking skills. The sub-elements of that larger mission permeate every single curriculum area for which there are common core standards.
So not only are we raising the bar significantly for students, we are raising it even more for teachers, who have not been prepared for this high level of teaching expertise. So once again, our national policy is using accountability without support and development as the lever for improving results.
Once the new common core assessments are widely used across the country the definition of what students are suppose to know and be able to do will be clearer. What’s inspected is what’s expected. To enable teachers to bring their students up to these standards, however, will require a national commitment funded by both federal and state agencies far beyond what is planned or intended. Without this commitment, the Common Core Standards will be “dissed” and perhaps ultimately “ditched” as unworkable when in fact, it was our support for teacher development that failed, not the standards.