On Finn and Linn

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Checker Finn has a great blog at the Flypaper, which notes the “heavier and heavier burdens” of the common standards project of the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

I disagree with Checker when he notes that we haven’t seen drafts (we have seen several early drafts) and that we can’t see where this is going. The process is really opaque, and given the criticism CCSSI has received on this point without any action to fix it, any reasonable person would conclude that (1) the team is not up to the job or (2) it’s on purpose. Neither answer is satisfactory.

In addition, we don’t have a real sense as to how the common core team is making determinations on public comments. And, well, the standards are really poorly written and jumbled. By the 6th inning of a game, you need to know the rules and how to throw a good number of strikes.

Then there is that “small” matter of voluntary adoption by the states, the president and ed secretary Duncan yesterday turned on its head in a heavy-handed move that threatens to pull Title I money (existing funds) for states not adopting this mess.

Uh, no thank you.

Had enough? OK, today Catherine Gewertz notes that Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond, now a member of the national standards “validation” and “assessment” committees is building

support for a new vision of educational assessment that is less a snapshot of students’ one-time performance and more like good instruction itself.

Yeah. Gulp. So we are supposed to give up our nation-best academic standards for fluff and then run the risk of adopting LDH’s idea of assessments?

Again, we are Massachusetts not West Virginia. And we are not looking forward to being led down the primrose path to the Mountain State’s status by Dane Linn and Co.