If Kentucky needed another reason not to move forward with the education monstrosity known as Common Core, the folks in Ohio have just provided us with one. A recent Cleveland.com article highlights the absurdity and inefficiency of the system’s PARCC testing consortium, and reflects an overall ineffectiveness of the program.
Patrick O’ Donnell of The Plain Dealer writes “Results of how your kids do on the new Common Core tests that they’ll take at school this spring won’t be available for months—possibly not until 2016. ‘Forget seeing state report cards for schools and districts by their normal late August time next year,’ said Tom Gunlock, vice-chairman of Ohio’s state school board… ‘We’re not going to get the report cards until 2016,’ Gunlock said. ‘That’s if everything goes off according to plan, which it never does.”
While Kentucky has opted out of PARCC—due in no small part to the efforts of anti-Common Core parents and educators—CC remains in place and continues to offer insufficient testing and evaluation of our students.
Unfortunately, this is becoming a habit for Kentucky. The Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA) was introduced in 1990 and touted as the end all/be all fix for Kentucky students. However, the KIRIS testing program at the time mirrored the inefficiency of PARCC. As Richard Innes from the Bluegrass Institute points out, “After Kentucky started to use lots of open response questions, portfolios, performance events, etc., in its old KIRIS system, scores were forevermore delayed. Even now, when we are using only open response questions (no portfolios, no performance events), our 2014 return was delayed until October—well after the start of the new school year.”
These delays make it impossible for school districts to revamp their curriculum to better meet the needs of the students, and, once again, put the focus on testing rather than teaching.
If Kentucky intends to truly raise the standards of its education system, it needs to disengage from the Common Core web of federally mandated curriculum, data mining and too little/too late assessment results. Our commonwealth has a nasty habit of borrowing ideas from elsewhere that are based on faulty research (if they are based on research at all) and have little to do with actual results and proven gains. The design and implementation of Kentucky’s education system should be the result of Kentucky teachers, administrators and parents coming together with real-world knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, and a shared goal of state and county driven student success.
Article written for KACC by Rachael Guadagni.