Introduction of Common Core standards led to drop in test scores

July 26, 2013

As noted in your story about school testing results, the drop in mathematics scores was not unexpected ("State's test scores decline," July 24).

Soon after the Common Core State Standards were adopted, Maryland applied and was one of the few states to receive Race to the Top funds to support transition to the Common Core and implementation of teacher and principal evaluations connected to student achievement.

From the teacher perspective, is this the "tipping point?" Teachers are spending time implementing the Common Core standards in both reading and mathematics while attending to other subjects and responsibilities. This is happening while teachers are also getting acquainted with the new tests that will replace the Maryland School Assessments in 2015.

Given this disconnect, why can't there be a moratorium on state assessments required by No Child Left Behind before the new assessments are in place? Many have asked for such a consideration ("Officials call for MSA moratorium," July 25).

This situation could have been avoided if the policy were designed to be more flexible when necessary.

Francis "Skip" Fennell, Westminster

The writer is a professor of education at McDaniel College.

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