Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, October 13, 2014

Howie Hawkins: Get Rid Of Common Core - And Standardized Testing

Here's why I am supporting Howie Hawkins for governor in next month's election:

ALBANY—Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins has entered the fight among liberals and conservatives over which side is more opposed to the Common Core standards.

Hawkins, during a conference call with reporters on Monday morning, said he wants New York to ditch the curriculum standards that New York adopted with the majority of U.S. states. But he also wants to get rid of statewide standards—and standardized testing—altogether, a position that he says sets him apart from his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, who is running on a third-party line entitled “Stop Common Core.”

“My position is we need to opt out of Common Core because it’s dumbing down education,” Hawkins said. “It’s forcing our teachers to teach to the test. That whole high-stakes testing regime, which is part of Common Core, is a big drain on time and money in schools.

“We should let the local teachers and parents and school boards make the decisions about standards, curriculum and assessment,” he continued.

When asked about Astorino, Hawkins said: “He’s talking about setting up our own standardized assessments in New York. I think we’ve got to get away from that and let the teachers teach.”

During that conference call, a reporter noted that many of the state tests are part of a federal mandate:

“If the law says you gotta do it, you gotta do it,” Hawkins said, responding to a question about the federal requirements. “But we are adding to the tests by opting into the Race to the Top money.”

Hawkins' reference was to the Obama administration’s signature education initiative, a grant competition through which New York won $700 million in 2010. The funds required the state to adopt curriculum standards that aimed to boost college- and career-readiness, such as the Common Core.

The grant program also required New York to develop a statewide teacher-evaluation system that rates educators partly based on students' test scores. The evaluation system has resulted in more local testing in some districts, although some confuse that testing as being tied to the adoption of the Common Core.

Indeed, the mandates were made much worse by Race to the Top.


Tied to Race to the Top.


Tied to Race to the Top.

Common Core?
Tied to Race to the Top.

All that testing added to every subject in nearly every grade in New York schools?

Consequence of APPR which is tied to Race to the Top.

It's true, the Obama administration has now tied some of the worst reforms to No Child Left Behind waivers, so even sending the RttT money back to the feds won't make some of the worst stuff go away overnight.

But the sun is getting ready to set on the Obama administration in a couple of years, so Arne Duncan and the rest of his merry men and women in reform aren't going to be in power forever.

There can be some post-RttT/post-NCLB waiver sanity.

Vote Howie Hawkins on Election Day.

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