Thompson: Common Core Moratorium On Value-Added
The best part of the Education Sector's Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): Choices and Challenges Ahead is Bill Tucker's "Taking a Long View of Teacher Evaluation," and its call for a one year hiatus on value-added evaluations when Common Core assessments are implemented. The best thing about Tucker's contribution is that it draws upon the insights of Craig Jerald, who explains that the new assessments "will necessitate a massive, and massively difficult, change in instructional practices for many, if not most teachers." He also believes that high-stakes evaluations are a distraction from this difficult transition.
For the next two years, educators will receive mixed messages. They will be given professional development on teaching critical thinking skills for mastery. In the inner city, many will be subject to termination, however, if they teach for higher order thinking before Common Core arrives. As long as teachers, and their evaluators, face high-stakes bubble-in tests, they will be pressured to rush through a skin-deep curriculum. So, it is great that reformers like Tucker are addressing the issue of implementing Common Core, while requiring teachers and principals to comply with its opposite. I doubt he believes that a one year hiatus will be long enough to give Common Core a chance, and I suspect he would cheer if it stretched into multiple years. If we want Common Core to succeed, however, reformers should join practitioners and make a "bold statement" on the need to teach 21st century skills, and repudiate value-added evaluations that will encourage the rote instruction of 19th century basic skills.- JT(@drjohnthompson) image via.