Friday, March 1, 2013

Are Teachers Ready for the Common Core Standards

Ed Week reports on a survey here that showed nearly half of the teachers felt they were not prepared to teach the Common Core Standards.

The real issue is whether or not the common core standards are appropriate—not whether or not teachers can teach them.  Here is a the 4th grade language arts one:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.”

Oh please.  Nine-year-olds need to be avidly reading books they love, not being dragged through exercises like this that will be tedious, difficult, and boring for them.  The research showing that children acquire sophisticated reading skills only through wide reading—not through skill exercises—is overwhelming. 

I spent a lot of time interviewing my top 12th grade students.  They hated skill exercises and avoided them at all costs.  No way did they acquire their advanced reading skills by doing the kind of dog and pony shows these standards are advocating.  No, they just fell in love with books and read everything they could get their hands on.

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