Connecticut Against Common Core hosted Seton Hall University professor Dr. Christopher Tienken last month. Start at minute 4:22 for Dr. Tienken’s speech.
Dr. Tienken talks about intended and unintended consequences of any treatment –including educational “treatment,” to children. He explains how important it is to have evidence for the need and the effectiveness of Common Core, which he refers to as “the latest round of standardization.” He defines himself not as others do, as “anti-Common Core” but more “pro-evidence”. He assesses education reforms through the lens of evidence, sourcing all of his statements and writings against Common Core, which you may read at his website and in the many academic journals in which he has been published.
He challenges the assumptions that underlie advocacy for Common Core.
For example: What if the results of the international test are not meaningful? –We might not be lagging at all in international competitiveness. None of the international tests can tell you the quality of a national education system nor can they predict the economic future. That’s not just an opinion; that’s his job, he says –reading 400 page technical manuals on international testing. Only about 6,000 kids in a country take these tests, and they may not be at all representative of the rest of the kids in that country. In China and Singapore, for example, most students aren’t in high school when the tests are administered. Only the wealthiest kids take these tests, not second language learners and others. These tests, he says, are sensitive to factors outside of school. PISA and TIMMS tests, for example, measure skills akin to the 19th century. Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, skills that drive economies today, are not even measured.
Why do Americans think that one narrow test (not evidence based) will be the ultimate predictor of student and national economic achievement?
Dr. Tienken later breaks out the charts to show how well the United States is actually doing, showing the misguidedness of Common Core’s foundational claims.
Watch the video to hear the rest. It’s great.