Recently, Gerald Coles confronted the newest round of the Reading War that once again centers phonics instruction. One of Coles’s points is how keeping the education reform gaze on an instructional practice (phonics) allows reform to ignore the more substantial and causal elements surrounding teaching and learning—socio-economic, racial, and gender inequities.
The now four-decades long venture into accountability grounded in standards and high-stakes testing has revealed one paradoxical and often ignored fact: The problems with teaching and learning have almost nothing to do with the presence or quality of high-stakes standards.
Currently, we are seeing a wave of acknowledgements that Common Core now has fallen into that pattern of failure.
The research base on standards has been consistent in showing that the accountability process fails; see below:
- Common Core Has Not Worked, Tom Loveless (2020)
- Research-based Options for Education Policymaking: Common Core State Standards William Mathis, University of Colorado Boulder (October 2012)
- Ferguson, D.E. (2013/2014, Winter). Martin Luther King Jr. and the Common Core: A critical reading of close reading. Rethinking Schools, 28(2).
- Corporations Are Behind The Common Core State Standards — And That’s Why They’ll Never Work
- Hout and Elliott (2011), Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education
- French, Guisbond, and Jehlen (2013), Twenty Years after Education Reform
- Loveless (2012), How Well Are American Students Learning? (from Brookings)
- Whitehurst (2009), Don’t Forget Curriculum (from Brookings)
- Kohn (2010), Debunking the Case for National Standards
- Victor Bandeira de Mello, Charles Blankenship, Don McLaughlin (2009), Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007