After reminding readers that Connecticut governor Daniel P. Malloy is on record as saying “I’ll settle for teaching to the test if it means raising test scores,” Wendy Lecker effectively slams the governor’s faith in tests and his plans to sell Common Core to parents.
When it comes to their children, parents do not want to settle. They know that teaching to the test means a narrowed curriculum and mind-numbing test prep. Unlike the governor, parents and teachers understand that children need and deserve a well-rounded and engaging education.
A recent study out of MIT renders Malloy’s statement even more odious. Researchers found that an increase in standardized test scores does not increase a child’s cognitive skills: specifically her ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically. This study confirms earlier research showing that standardized tests essentially measure merely how good a test-taker a student is.
Governor Malloy’s statement and resulting policies undermine the goal of developing citizens capable of flourishing our complex world.
The MIT findings also shed important light on the dangers associated with our state’s rush to implement the controversial Common Core State Standards. Proponents of the Common Core swear that this new regime will teach our children to think deeply and critically. In fact, it was just revealed that Malloy’s Education Commissioner plans to spend up to 1 million taxpayer dollars on a public relations firm to sell this idea to the public. The plan is to create a multi-media campaign to try to convince the public that the Common Core is worthwhile.
Apparently, insanity in the nation’s governor’s mansions is bipartisan. Malloy hasn’t heard the news that governors of both parties have been running away from Core. How much support for Common Core is bought and paid for? Maybe $150 million worth from the Gate Foundation alone as Valerie Strauss reported in May 2013.
Note not only the amounts but the wide range of organizations receiving money. Universities. Unions. State education departments. Nonprofits. Think tanks. The grants were given for a range of reasons, including developing materials aligned to the standards and building support for the standards.
You can see how invested the Gates Foundation is in the success of the Common Core. What kind of Core support do these grants buy from the organizations that receive them?
Maybe taxpayer-funded support, too.