By Lauren Mitchell, HSLDA’s Federal Relations Legislative Assistant
Recently, an anonymous teacher leaked 4th grade Common Core test questions to the world, setting the internet ablaze with angry comments from parents and educators. The questions feature unreasonably sophisticated language, content that would be more appropriate for 9th to 12th graders, and problems that require students to analyze complexities far above their elementary school level.
But don’t expect to dialogue with Common Core creators about these questions anytime soon. According to an article by the New York Times, test administrators of the testing consortium PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) have already sent over 100 notices to Google and Twitter, attempting to scrub the leaked questions off of the internet. “It’s like they’re trying to put a blanket over any discussion of their test,” Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, told the Times. (Click here to read the leaked test questions for yourself.)
For years, HSLDA has voiced its concerns that the Common Core State Standards Initiative puts a burden on elementary aged students and on those who have special needs. In HSLDA’s documentary, “Building the Machine,” parents and teachers tell heartbreaking stories about children who endured mental health issues as a result of developmentally inappropriate testing. And a Christian Post article similarly recounts how one little girl even carving “stupid” into her wrists as a coping mechanism. As more and more children come home from school carrying the emotional and developmental consequences of over-testing, American parents are waking up to the fact that Common Core is doing their students more harm than good.
Thankfully, the nationwide opt-out movement boasts hundreds of thousands of protesters, who have made it exceedingly difficult for Common Core consortia to operate successfully. Thanks to the vigilance of parents and educators, consortia participation has been cut dramatically over the past several years, with PARCC participation down to seven states from its original 24.
If this is how PARCC plans to behave itself, let’s hope those seven states jettison it soon.