I've been holding a minimally informed view that the standards are a reasonably good idea undermined in the public perception by being saddled with contentious assessments that may be serving other purposes entirely. I wanted to take a closer look. How real is that linkage between CCSS and onerous assessment? What caused that perception to arise? And how are the major educational organizations responding to it? I looked at the websites of some of the major US educational organizations to find out.
I began with the Common Core State Standards Initiative, because it gives the appearance of being the central online advocacy force on behalf Common Core. So I was surprised to find it did not have a lot to say about the assessment side of the coin. They emphasize that data collection is not required, but up to each state individually. Perhaps they are reluctant to wade into the controversy, but if so, my casual observation of P.R. strategy tells me they’re dropping the ball, because the perception “out there” is so strong that Common Core is all about the testing and “teaching to the test.” And that’s ironic because, by the definition of Common Core’s learning objectives, one would expect the methods for assessing achievement to be quite different from and more meaningful than the customary, rote-questions, fill-in-the-bubble methods. They need to address the controversy if they want to make a stronger case for CCSS and help get it through this difficult roll-out.