State Super Proposes Slow Down in Common Core Timeline
Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White today outlined his recommendations to slow down the Common Core curriculum's timeline. White said in a statement:
"If we want Louisiana jobs to go to Louisiana graduates, we have to raise expectations... I have traveled the state seeking the input of educators and parents on how best to do this, and I believe that providing more time for educators, parents and students to learn these new expectations is critical to achieving that objective."
The Common Core curriculum is a tougher set of educational standards for teachers and students, and sets a more rigorous set of grade-level benchmarks in the core areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Full implementation by 2014/2015 was the goal.
Educators, parents and lawmakers who have been critical of the new standards say the transition to the curriculum, adopted by 45 states and approved by BESE three years ago, was made with too little training, guidance and funding.
Another complaint from educators and school systems was the lack of information as it pertains to the curriculum itself and what teachers should be using in the classroom. Superintendent White's recommendation includes a provision for curriculum guides to school districts in the state.
The nuts and bolts of White's proposed adjusted timeline for Common Core includes:
- 2015 testing of students being used as a baseline, and then slowly raising the bar over a 10-year period. Public schools would be graded on a curve in 2014 and 2015, so the same number of schools would be rated at the A/B/C level through 2015.
- Only 3rd through 8th grades would take new tests in 2015, not high school students. Third and fourth graders would take paper tests; higher grades would take computerized tests.
- Schools who don't have technology in place for the computerized tests in 2015 would be eligible for a one-year waiver.
- Teacher evaluations for the 2014/2015 school year would be based on information and scoring, not on growth in student achievement on standardized tests.
- Student advancement of 4th and 8th graders for the 2014 and 2015 would be left up to local school districts and not rely solely on standardized test scores. Fourth graders who don't pass the test could be advanced if the district feels the student shows progress. Eighth graders could advance to high school and take remedial classes.
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider the Superintendent's recommendation when it meets next month.