Reading the brief about Ohio conducting Common Core testing (Feb. 17), it struck me as contradictory that Common Core was described as a derivative of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). True, both claim to be tools to improve teaching, but Common Core focuses on creative thinking, problem solving and experimentation — where being wrong multiple times contributes to growth in intelligence. NCLB focuses on the mastery of standards and the manufacture of higher test scores — mostly through repetitive learning and rote memorization.
Testing drives teaching methodology. If you are testing kids on a laptop, tablet or bubble sheet, you’re testing within NCLB criterion. If Common Core is done right, there is no clean-cut way to test it — especially not on a computer or bubble sheet. Common Core homework is essentially an oxymoron, because you can’t really have higher-order thinking, and problem-solving collaborations while isolated in your bedroom working from a worksheet.
In the end, Common Core is about “doing” and not about outcomes. When you are creatively involved and engage in conversations about solutions, you are practicing Common Core. NCLB is outcome-obsessed, where the final score is the only thing that matters. I say boycott NCLB and its testing requirements!