The dual forces of authoritarian standards and high-stakes testing has taken hold of K-12 education through a top-down, corporate led enterprise. This is very big business, and it is having an effect of thwarting teaching and learning in American schools. A recent study by Pioneer Institute estimated that states will spend at least $15 billion over the next few years to replace their current standards with the common core. What will it cost to implement new science standards?
In research that I have reported here, standards are barriers to teaching and learning. In this research, the tightly specified nature of successful learning performances precludes classroom teachers from modifying the standards to fit the needs of their students. And the standards are removed from the thinking and reasoning processes needed to achieve them. Combine this with high-stakes tests, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Reform of schooling in the 21st Century is controlled by the conservative approach to teaching and learning, hierarchical rules were established to make the nation’s schools and districts conform to an imposed set of standards and authoritarian assessments.