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Teaching Before and After the Common Core

Before the Core

Teachers could participate in writing state standards as part of a standards committee in their subject area formed at the state level

After the Core

Common Core was primarily written by a group of individuals, most of whom were NOT educators, at an organization called Student Achievement Partners1 for Achieve, Inc.2, copyrighted in Washington D.C.3 and sent to the National Governors Association (NGA)4 and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)5, two private organizations not subject to open records laws Because the standards were copyrighted in Washington, D.C., no one at the state level is able to make modifications to the standards Neither teachers nor the Oklahoma State Department of Education can add more than 15%6 to the Common Core State Standards Curricula packages geared toward the muchnarrowed standards are being sold by textbook companies such as Pearson7 and vendors such as Achieve who have a vested interest in the Common Core (less choice) A shift to more technology-based delivery of subject matter8 has teachers spending class time in their schools computer lab or appropriating other forms of technology such as iPads or laptop computers Confusion over the sequence of events for the shift to Common Core has occurred as REAC3H coaches9 may be only sporadically available Teachers will be obliged to give as many formative tests10 as the state requests in order to keep all schools in the state on identical tracks as prescribed by Common Core Teachers could devote several weeks per semester of class time to test taking and preparation*

Teachers could address the Oklahoma State Board of Education or their legislators for redress if concerned about the standards The state along with teachers could create as many standards as teachers had time to create curricula and teach Teachers had many different types and sources of curricula from which to choose and were able to develop their own (choice)

Teachers taught children subject matter inside their classroom using a variety of methods and materials

Teachers created their own lesson plans and sequenced their lessons as they felt would be most effective for their students Teachers would give as many formative tests as necessary to gauge student understanding of subject matter

Teachers devoted approximately one week away from teaching to state test taking and preparation

Teachers often gave a single summative test at the end of the year to determine mastery of subject matter Paper and pencil tests with limited hand writing and extended time periods for completion were administered by teachers to their students

Teachers could be required to give 3 or more summative-type tests across the length of the school year to determine subject mastery* Timed tests including opinion questions requiring the writing of a paragraph11 will force teachers to take time away from lesson plans to teach even 1st graders keyboarding in order for students to complete the required tests in the required amount of time determined for proficiency Teachers must get their classes to and from their schools computer lab, working time into their lesson plans to schedule around all the other classes that will also be using the computer lab for testing If teachers are not happy with the Common Core State Standards, or the direction in which their school is moving in the education of students, it will be hard to move into another position as all public schools (including charter schools) will be using Common Core, and many private schools will be moving to the Common Core in order to keep their students competitive on the newly Common Core aligned ACT12

Teachers administered tests inside their classrooms

If teachers werent happy with the standards they were teaching, or the direction in which their school was moving in the education of students, they could apply for a job at another school of their choosing

*With the advent of the State Department of Education leaving the PARCC consortium and developing their own tests, the effects of testing are widely unknown

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