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Common Core- Shining The Harsh Light

First Kentucky and now Georgia.  States are starting to provide data on assessments that are more closely aligned to common core state standards and the results indicate that we might finally stop lying to students and be truthful about where they are on college readiness.  For years we have told students they are proficient when in reality we just kept lowering the cut score to be proficient.
 
Kentucky gave their version of the test and less than half are proficient and now edweek reports the same thing happened on math proficiency in Georgia - just 40% are proficient. When we kicked off the first PARCC Educator Leader Cadre training, we asked: "Are your teachers, your students, your parents and your communities ready for the harsh reality that less than half our students are proficient".  We have known all along that results would mirror NAEP and these new assessment data points are showing us that will be true.
 
We are finally going to stop lying about college readiness.

Two things have to happen to ensure that seeing the actual data results in real change for our schools. 
  1. Education leaders have to have the intestinal fortitude to stick with the cut scores and not lower the cut score. I have talked with leaders everywhere and we are not really setting the stage to help these leaders. We have to help them to help our students.
  2. We have to actually get ready for common core through real implementation. Too many schools are saying they are ready or are holding one day trainings and saying they are getting there. Success will require significant change to the way teachers teach and that requires sustained training and support
Congratulations to Georgia and Kentucky for leading the charge on educating their states on the impact of common core.  If more states take this approach, it will help education leaders stick with the real reality on proficiency in the United States and will help wake up districts that they need to improve teaching in order to improve proficiency.