Why Opting Out of Tests Makes Sense

It is hard to really capture the story of how we ended up with a system so completely devoted to overtesting students with such dire intensity for such dreadful purposes. And the arguments about choosing not to take the test are pretty heated and full of emotional baggage. This piece does a great job of explaining what the fuss is, how it came to be, and why opting out is the right side of the fuss to take.

Edusanity: Why We Chose To Opt Out


Common Core Fact Sheet

This is a great, simple fact sheet that lays out the origins and history of CCSS. And it’s a pdf– so if you want to print it out and hand it around, you’re all set.

Common Core Fact Sheet, by Sandra Stotsky for the Pioneer Institute


Is Close Reading A New Thing? Sort of…

One of the teaching techniques that has been pushed with the Common Core is called Close Reading, and it’s not new. English teachers have been doing it for years. In fact, it’s so omnipresent that many English teachers do it without even knowing what it’s called.

So why is it a big deal now? Because the version of Close Reading that is being currently promoted is not quite the original almost-a-century-old version. Some significant changes are being slipped into Close Reading, and none of them are a good thing. Here’s a history of the original Close Reading and a breakdown of what is different about the current version.

Curmudgucation: Close Reading 2.0



Critical Literacy and Common Core

If your main interest is how CCSS speaks to literacy and reading instruction, here are links to a paid of columns by a husband-wife reading specialist team addressing some of the issues related to literacy and reading as presented in the Common Core.

This first piece looks at the critical questions that teachers need to ask students in addressing reading.

This second one examines what happens if we turn those tools on the CCSS themselves.


The Copyright on Common Core

Yes, the Common Core are copyrighted. This is probably the clearest, most direct look at that copyright that I’ve seen, courtesy of Paul Bogush.

So if you’re wondering exactly what the copyright looks like, here you go!

Anthony Cody: 10 Major Common Core Errors

Anthony Cody has a regular blog at the Education Week: Teacher site. If you aren’t familiar with EdWeek, it’s a print magazine with a pretty big on line footprint. Their writers cover an extremely broad range of interests, backgrounds and points of view. Anthony Cody spent several decades as a classroom teacher and is one of the more articulate and important voices of dissent in today’s education landscape.

One of his widely circulated pieces collects in one place ten of the major problems with the Common Core State Standards. There is plenty to read here, but if you want to skim, the ten points are big and bold!

Anthony Cody: 10 Major Common Core Errors

How Did Common Core Happen?

I’m going to start out with one of my own posts. This is my attempt to explain as simply as I can how we all ended up living with the Common Core State Standards peeking over our collective shoulders. If you aren’t clear on how we ended up with these, this is as good a place to start as any.

Curmudgucation: How Did Common Core Happen?