I was recently asked to write for the Education Funders Research Initiative, a collective of education funders and researchers from around New York City, and their first question was, “Is New York City ready for Common Core implementation?” Of course, I saw plenty of problems with this statement:
Right now, however, I don’t see how New York City, much less our state, can meet or exceed the expectations laid out for us as a result of the Core nor get students “college and career ready.” Academic standards are only as effective as the organizational standards we hold for our system, and currently, we still have far too many structural issues. For one, curriculum publishers still work under the auspices of the previous way of thinking about instruction: “If we slap a sticker on our textbooks and say they’re Common Core, districts will pick it up and they won’t know any better.” Developing coherent curriculum is far more than just following the textbook. Teachers have to develop their own materials to accompany and bolster any textbook, new and old.
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