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Common Core review - Did you take the survey?

New standards to be adopted in March, 2016

Did you take the Department of Education survey on Common Core standards? Why or why not? Click here for a short survey.

Louisiana’s review of Common Core standards began last week amid controversies over higher education participation, a questionable survey purporting to show overwhelming support for keeping current standards without changes, and missing test results.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan is one of 26 members of an overall Standards Committee. The review process also comprises three 29-member subcommittees that will look at standards for math, English language arts and K-12 education.

The content subcommittees will meet again in October to draft new standards, and could meet in December if necessary. The full standards committee will review a draft of the proposals in November, and take a final vote on the draft in February.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Monaghan supported a resolution asking to involve college professors from education programs in the review process.

“These are the people who will be teaching the teachers how to implement standards,” Monaghan said. “We believe their input is crucial to the success of any standards that we devise for Louisiana.”

That resolution failed, with only five of the 25 members present in support. Higher education spokesmen said that efforts will be made to solicit comment from professors, however.

The State Department has touted an online survey that seems to reflect overwhelming support for keeping Common Core standards just as they are. Of the 30,000 comments submitted, over 80 percent said the standards should remain as is.

But all of those comments were submitted by slightly more than 700 people, leading to suspicion that Common Core supporters skewed the results. LFT is conducting an online survey of its own to learn more about the responses to the department’s poll. Click here to take the LFT survey.

(Here is a link to the State Department survey.)

Others at Wednesday’s public hearing were concerned that the department has not yet released results from last Spring’s testing cycle. Blogger Mike Deshotels said that reviewing standards without knowing the results of half a million tests “was like asking a mechanic to fine tune a complex engine without access to computer diagnostics for that engine.”

The committee chair promised to ask the Department to provide the test results as soon as possible.

Others questioned whether the timeline set for writing new standards is too optimistic. One math teacher noted that it took a national organization 10 years to create comprehensive math standards, while the Louisiana subcommittees have only a few months to revise the state’s standards.

Each of the subcomittees met for three hours on Wednesday, and will meet again in October. The K-2 group will meet October 12 in Shreveport; the ELA group will meet on October 14 in Alexandria; and the math group will meet on October 15 in Crowley.

Subcommittees may meet again on December 3 if necessary.

The full standards committee will meet again on November 12 in Covington to review the first draft of new standards, and hold a final meeting on February 2 in New Orleans. BESE will vote on the proposed standards at its March 4, 2016 meeting.

The review effort came out of a legislative compromise aimed at settling the controversial Common Core standards issue. The governor to be elected this fall will have the option of suspending or vetoing the new standards.