Day 13: Standards- The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Prompt: How do standards (like CCLS or other local/state standards) impact your teaching?

I have written about this before. The summer after my second year teaching I was sent for a intensive to Columbia University to train in the new Common Core standards being rolled out.  Every school was to have a point person  to turnkey the new standards with their staff. As an English teach I went, along with the new first year we hired that spring. It was a good week full of workshops and discussion about what this was, how to read the document and how to implement.  I always felt confident about common core. I liked having clear standards for learning and to me it seemed we would not see the true impact of CCLS until the kids beginning kindergarten that year graduated from high school making them the first cohort to graduate and hopefully be truly college and career ready. 

Testing changed everything, especially for K-8 education. The money tied to test scores, the pressure on young children to do well hurt education and damaged the relationship between schools and parents. When parents started posting on social media about CC math I knew bigger problems were coming. 

The new teachers coming in don't know a time with out CC. I had a ton of training and that made all the difference.  As far as my planning goes- the standards narrowed the focus of state standards and exams here and NY.  The focus is on argument writing and reading of nonfiction texts.  So much so that, in my humble opinion, other types of writing have been sacrificed. This has pushed my thinking and ideas about what having experience doing all kinds of writing does for student learning, fluidity of though, stamina and creativity as a writer.


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