The new “Common Core State Standards” are sweeping the USA as the newest approach to improve K-12 education.
The new “guidelines” are designed to shape how students will learn and be held accountable, beginning with English and math. So far 45 states have joined the charge. One of the major investments to proceed requires schools to adopt new textbooks that are aligned to the “national curriculum standards.” Estimated costs range between $1 and $8 billion—not million, but billion—in order to be ready for the 2014-2015 school year when districts will most likely start taking federal funds.
Texas, one of the larger textbook buying states, is not participating. California, another large textbook purchasing state, has a particular dilemma. At the height of the state’s budget crisis, lawmakers forbade their education department from approving a a new textbook purchasing cycle until 2015-2016. But students will start to take the new tests in 2014-2015.
Since so many currently used standardized tests are not aligned with so much of a school’s current curriculum, one can only imagine the number of schools that will be stigmatized as “not meeting standards” when the common core curriculum is implemented.
Only time will tell if the “common core standards” becomes another well-intentioned plan that lacks validity and reliability.