States around the country–and especially around the South–are staring to have “heartburn” about Common Core, as one local legislator recently put it to me. Early in the summer, Alabama decided to forego the new assessments. Late last month, Georgia and Oklahoma decided the same. Now lawmakers here in Mississippi are making noise about pulling out of Common Core entirely.
I don’t want to tell you how or what to think; there are certainly valid philosophical reasons to be wary of Common Core. But having worked here in Mississippi for five years, I’ve seen the impact of our low-quality standards and assessments. They lead schools to make bad decisions–over and over again.
What I will tell you to do is look at the old state standards and the new Common Core standards side by side. Just pick a grade, and read through both. And then do the same for our old state assessments and the prototypes from the new PARCC assessments. In my mind, it’s abundantly clear that the Common Core standard and the PARCC assessments demand more meaningful thinking from our students in nearly every way. But you can decide for yourself.
If you look, and decide you do support Common Core, I also urge you to let that be known. Tell your state legislator that you are an educator that supports the new standards and the new test. Sign up to stay informed.