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posted: 10/2/2013 5:00 AM

Common Core is tied to high-stakes tests

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It's surprising National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel doesn't consider Common Core part of "high-stakes standardized testing" ("Teachers union president tours Des Plaines touting Common Core," Sept. 11), because it increases high-stakes standardized testing.

According to the governors' memorandum that kick-started Common Core, the initiative includes both education goals and national tests to measure if students have accomplished those goals. The two are inseparable. And the two national Common Core testing groups have released plans to test students not just once at the end of the year, but several times throughout the year.

The new Common Core tests are also longer than most state tests they will replace. The ones Illinois plans to use are estimated to take each child about nine hours for just the end-of-year tests, plus several more hours if kids take the three other tests throughout the year.

And the Obama administration has increased the number of things that test results influence, from teacher evaluations to where teachers must move to school funding and governance. It's hard to conclude from all this that Common Core is not tied to tests, and high stakes.

Joy Pullmann

Education research fellow

Heartland Institute


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