In a research paper released today , MSU Professor Gary Troia questions the “effectiveness of the Common Core State Standards in teaching writing.” I have not read the actual report but according to reporter Brian Smith at MLIVE,
“Research published Friday by the National Association of School Psychologists from a Michigan State University education professor questions the effectiveness of the Common Core State Standards in teaching writing….
The research identifies 36 teaching and testing practices for writing, but says only about half of those practices are actually included in Common Core, with not enough focus on spelling, handwriting or keyboarding throughout the elementary years.
“Federal efforts and research dollars tend to focus on reading, math and science, while writing is often left out in the cold,” Troia said. “We’re trying to point out that writing is really important and that we should focus more on writing so it’s no longer the neglected ‘R’.”
Because the standards do not completely address writing instruction, Troia argues in the paper that teachers will be forced to turn to outside sources to provide well-rounded writing education.”
The new research appears to affirm the findings of Dr. Sandra Stotsky who served on the Common Core ELA Standards validation committee but refused to sign-off on them. Dr. Stotsky believes that Common Core is a step backwards for English Standards. Recently provided spotlighted the inexperience of the lead ELA writers in her white paper, “Common Core’s Invalid Validation Committee.”
The lead ELA writers were David Coleman and Susan Pimentel, neither of whom had experience teaching English either in K-12 or at the college level. Nor had either of them ever published serious work on K-12 curriculum and instruction. Neither had a reputation for scholarship or research; they were virtually unknown to the field of English language arts. But they had been chosen to transform ELA education in the US. Who recommended them and why, we still do not know.
The final draft of the Common Core Standards in Math and ELA was released on June 2, 2010. Michigan adopted the standards on June 15, 2010. Clearly, the evidence is mounting that the hastily adopted Common Core State Standards are NOT a higher standard and NOT the right standard for Michigan’s school children.
Dr. Stotsky, a lead author in the highly regarded Massachusetts ELA Standards, has released a framework for ELA standards for free. The Michigan State School Board ought to consider starting with her framework and collaborate with experts from Michigan’s fine institutions of higher learning, like Profesor Troia, and develop our own standard ELA standards.