High-stakes testing isn’t the only problem, and it’s time for schools to change their approach.
This cannot be stated enough: The reason K-12 is so bad is because college is so bad. I know this. I was a math professor. I know first hand how bad college is.
It’s not just bad in the sense of “bad education”, but more importantly, in the sense of just “bad”, as in greedy and corrupted, eager to take advantage, etc…
And when I say “bad”, I’m not just using my ideals for college, I am using standard every day ethics.
I can’t go into all the ways that college dumbs down K-12. (My blog inside-higher-ed gives startling examples of “bad”.) I can mention a few.
They cater to “consumer” wants, not “student” needs. (To see the result of that, read Arum and Roksa’s seminal “Academically Adrift” about how little students are required to learn for that A.)
Colleges take government money to crank out faux-doctorates. (No fault of the young PhD students. How are they to know?)
Those faux-doctorates become “professors” at regional state schools.
Those regional state school professors then do a terrible job of teaching their students. (No fault of either their students or them. The buck stopped at the top – probably for some building – and so did knowledge.)
Examples and explanations of all of this are on my blog.
What is the connection to common core?
First, given the dismal situation I have just described, who is going to teach it?
No attempt at improving K-12 is going to work well into we address the “college problem”. Without that, we are spinning our wheels.