Simplify the Common Core Rollout
by Jared Gellert
Mike Schmoker has written one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever read about education. It’s so good that I am going to simply quote some portions. In an article in Education Week he writes “Perhaps no enterprise is more crippled by complexity than school improvement.” He decries the long, unintelligible bullet points of standards and objectives that are jargon laced and completely impossible to implement. As the saying goes, when you have ten priorities, you have none at all.
Further, complexity “prevents us from perceiving the simplest, but more effective practices and then focusing our limited time and energy on mastering them, one at a time.” Then he adds “we know how to deliver such curriculum. It starts with a clear purpose and an assessment aligned with that objective. It is followed by an ongoing cycle of teaching in small manageable steps, punctuated with frequent, informal assessments.”
How to get from our current complex mess to something both simpler and better? I wish I knew, and Schmoker doesn’t know either. But at least he gets that there’s no way that our current approach is going to work unless it gets substantially simpler.
Jared Gellert is the Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Training and Education (CITE)
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