What will be the impact of the ending NCLB will be for public education? When I started teaching in 2002 I taught on the community college level on both an urban and suburban campus. I remember quite clearly the level of work the students. This was the year NCLB was implemented. Over the years I taught full time on the college level, I felt that the student writing deteriorated. I wondered what was happening in the school systems, and I was frustrated with what the outcome was. After going to work in public schools, I very quickly came to understand the impact of NCLB. One school year I taught an entire year of a test prep class. Every class I taught was to prep the students to take the HSPA exam (this was in New Jersey). Every student in eleventh grade took one core class, and one prep class in English and math, therefore two of their classes each day were test prep. There’s some kind of crime there. My experience is of course, purely anecdotal, but in speaking with other long time educators, there is this general sense of a deterioration in academic abilities, especially thinking critically and writing authentically. Whether this is true or not, or if true, it may be because of other factors, such as the use of technology, but I think would be an interesting research study.
I recently spent an entire day at a transfer school conference in Manhattan. I was with school administrators and other teacher leaders. One avenue that we are working on is transforming schools into a fully blended, asynchronous schools, so we’re having intense discussion and bantering ideas. When the discussion turns to Common Core, I had to bring up that it may very well be possible that this will all change, or change somewhat, and soon. New Jersey is already backing away, and the New York press is speaking about New York also changing their use of Common Core standards: Cuomo Taskforce Signals Retreat from Common Core. How can we plan effectively? Who knows what will be coming in the future? Does anybody have a clue what is going on in public education? We live in interesting times.