If you are like me, you have despaired of the immovable entrenchment of high-stakes standardized tests at all grade levels. Teachers of tested subjects are so bound by the pressures of high-stakes test results that they often feel they can’t teach their best; they just teach to the test.
The whole point of the Common Core is to promote higher-level thinking, problem-solving, true understanding, and being able to apply what you learn. This is directly antithetical to teaching to the standardized test.
Did you know that on average, one in four high school students don’t graduate? And did you know that one in five cannot even read their diplomas? Yet these are students from schools that have passed AYP, which means that a high percentage of all students have passed the standardized tests. Clearly, they haven’t learned; they haven’t learned! Certainly they haven’t understood.
The Common Core requires understanding. True, there is a big lag between the actual Core and tests which address it, and that’s a problem, because students in schools with Common Core may not pass the standardized tests.
But from my point of view, the test results don’t show us much, unless they are formative tests, which only help us to see where students need help. The projects based on the Common Core certainly do show us that students understand.