Common-Core Math and End-of-Year Testing

Our little rural junior high math teachers are so excited about the common core.

And who wouldn’t be? The common core is about thinking, about real problem solving, not just memorizing formulas (although that’s part of the equation, pardon the pun).

But here’s the kicker:

Even though our whole state has adopted the common core (along with many other states in the country), the end-of-year high-stakes AYP exams do not test what is learned in the common core.

They test what was covered in the old curriculum.

It was hard enough to stretch toward the hypothetical but unreachable 100% test scores projected for 2012. All of us teachers know that a great deal depends on these tests.

So now let’s up the ante: teach other stuff than what is going to be tested.

What’s the rationale for this? Scott, one of our great teachers, tells me that it’s because common-core creators feel that they cannot produce a viable test within the year. Yet here are these teachers rising to the occasion, teaching a difficult and brand-new curriculum with grace and skill. Certainly, even with testing the tests, a cadre of professionals can put together a viable test.

Ah, public education. You never stop being surprised.

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