Districts Consider Implication Of Common Core Delay
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A fight is shaping up in the state Senate after supporters of Common Core received a huge blow when an amendment to delay further implementation passed overwhelmingly in the House.
Common Core is nothing new. Implementation of the standards started three years ago. In Metro Schools, it has already changed what and how students are taught math, language arts and reading.
Science and social studies are supposed to be phased in next.
"I would hate to see the forward momentum stop," Dr. Jesse Register, Director of Metro Nashville's Public Schools said.
Across the state, more than $1 million have been spent on teacher training, textbooks and new technology. Despite growing opposition, the Common Core train seemed to be moving full steam ahead.
Thursday, in an unexpected move, representatives in the House hi-jacked an unrelated education bill to add an amendment that would delay further implementation of Common Core until 2016.
"It is a win in the sense of the delay of the PARCC," Tennessee Education Association President Gera Summerford said. "I am pleased that the standards are not being abandoned in any means. We can't go backward but we need to slow down."
Delaying the PARCC exams, that will replace the TCAP exams, may shield teachers temporarily from the consequences associated with the expected dip in test scores. However, some said keeping the TCAP exams creates another problem.
"If we delay implementation of PARCC past next year then there is a disconnect," Dr. Register explained. "We're not testing what we're teaching and what we're moving to there."
The question is, will students in Tennessee be better prepared for college and the workforce if districts pause where they are? The answer now lies in the hands of the state Senate who interest groups on both sides of the debate will now spend more time targeting.