What Common Core Could Mean for the Youngest Students

DOES COMMON CORE KILL CREATIVE CONFIDENCE?: An ongoing discussion on Ms. Diane Ravitch's blog really has the EdSurge cogs a'cranking. Originating in this post by Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, and commented on by Ms. Geralyn Bywarter McLaughlin here and Ms. Karen Nemeth here, the debate centers around the developmental appropriateness of Common Core standards. All sides generally agree that pushing assessment down to young learners may have detrimental effects, though how much Common Core standards will contribute to those effects remains hotly contested. There's a ton of interesting information laced throughout the debate -- most notably reports from the Alliance for Childhood and Mr. Peter Gray's research on early childhood behavior -- and we're genuinely impressed with the moderation skills of Ms. Ravitch and the cordial tone of dissenting but concerned minds.

EdSurge is taking the long view on this one. As Ms. Nemeth points out, there are no Common Core standards for Pre-K students, and assessments grounded in Common Core have yet to hit the classroom so it's difficult to define actual pain points. 

Even the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) seems wary of over-assessment. Its proposed K-2 assessment tasks, which will be used across at least 23 states, avoid summative assessments in favor of "developmentally-appropriate assessment types, such as observations, checklists, classroom activities, and protocols."

Assessments have never been our cup of tea, especially when research shows they are poor predictors of any type of success, but the Common Core is supposed to be a step in a better direction. We're willing to give it a chance before applying the critical eye. What about you?

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