President Obama’s favorite think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), wants to align standardized tests with Common Core standards.
Recently, at CAP:
- Nancy DePalma, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, West Hartford Public Schools, said that her district “totally redesigned our curriculum with Common Core” which “gives the teachers in-the-moment assessment” in classroom settings.
- Maura Henry, a teacher at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria in New York City, argued that, “Parents aren’t really anti-testing, but [anti-]over-testing” and need to be reassured they aren’t “being tricked” by the state education agencies and their tests. Henry said that while her school supported the overall testing plan, it made no sense to implement testing before students had learned the material, which happened in New York.
- Jeffrey Nellhaus, Chief of Assessment, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, Inc., said that the face of education has changed over time. Now, with improved technology, “the online environment allows better opportunities” for ESOL and special needs kids to learn via computer programs. It helped reduce manpower and staff hours from past years where teachers would have to read the standardized tests aloud for students with learning disabilities. These new tests, said Nellhaus, are “fully aligned with the Common Core” and he claimed they were valid because “they’re customized” by local teachers. Nellhaus, a former Massachusetts Department of Education agency official, bragged that switching to Common Core reduced test turnaround—from the time the students take them to the time they get them back graded—to one month. Only in public schools would one month be considered a rapid turnover.