Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On the Rigor of the Common Core and Fidelity of High Stakes Testing

"What the wisest parents want for their children, that must we want for all children."
J. Dewey

Touting the CCSS version of standardized education with lots of rigor and fidelity as a cure-all for what ails American public education is a charade!  More and better standardized educational experience (rigor) that will be controlled and measured with high stakes standardized test scores (fidelity)? Really? Standardized educational experience and in particular, CCSS will do nothing to improve children's learning experiences in American classrooms. The elements for improving educational experience for all American children are still not in place: Personal time and attention from teachers through smaller class sizes, stable home lives, reduction of food insecurity, regular experiences in fine arts education and opportunities for student's self determination of educational experience. These factors are critical for improving American education, but alas...what children got instead after the Wall Street Crash of 2007-2008? More standardized testing. The idea that you can improve children's educational experiences by ignoring their physiological and psycho-emotional needs and imposing authoritarian, no excuses, get tough policies on them and their teachers is anathema to improving the human condition and human potential. What you will end up with is a mono-culture that perpetuates the standardization of the human mind. What children will learn is that the CCSS are nothing more than more of the same old, same old non-consensual learning experience driven by radical behaviorism. Children will remain outside the decision making processes central to the learning experiences they must participate in, and teachers will be forced to teach to the test. 

The end game is to de-professionalize teaching, hire pseudo-teachers who don't need living wages, pensions or other benefits and educate children through cheaper, technology driven screen-based interface whose assessments mimic standardized test questions.


  1. Thanks for developing the discussion and analysis of the radical behaviourist foundation of the career and college ready regime. The same approach applies of course to both students as well as educators. We can disagree with the training, so long as we do it just the same. The parallel to the majority of soldiers being opposed to the aggressive wars and occupation, while still fully carrying them out, is just too stark. On the other hand, the resistance and refusal to the tests and CCR agenda is taking the stand that parents and educators and students are the decision makers and that building and expanding decision making at the point of practice is the neccesity of our times. At the moment, the initiative is in our hands, with governors, legislators, state ed,, commish, unions, media responding and manouevering based on the just stand against the harmful tests and agenda. If you don't know him, you might like http://www.markgarrison.net/
    Danilo Lawvere

    1. Thanks for your discussion points Danilo! Warmest wishes...Clyde

  2. Here's my family speaking out at the OCPS School Board meeting last night.

  3. In Texas we call this administrative bullying by authoritarian behaviorism the "Skinner Nazi Management Style".

  4. Thank you Clyde Gaw and to all of you for bringing out the behaviorist connection. And great Texas descriptor, Kurt Schneider. It's not only in the administrative bullying, but in the Skinnerian curriculum , which has been popular now for a number of years and is increasing as control becomes more overt.